Bad credit is a trap that threatens many consumers. It is not a permanent one because there are easy steps any consumer can take to prevent credit damage and repair their credit in case of mishaps. This article offers some handy tips that can protect or repair a consumer’s credit regardless of its current state.
Be mindful of the impact that debt consolidation has on your credit. Taking out a debt consolidation loan from a credit repair organization looks just as bad on your credit report as other indicators of a debt crisis, such as entering credit counseling. It is true, however, that in some cases, the money savings from a consolidation loan may be worth the credit score hit.
If you have credit cards with a utilization level over 50%, then pay them down until they are below 50% utilization. Your credit score can be negatively impacted if you are carrying a large balance compared to the available credit you have. While you are paying off these cards, reduce the balance to a small percentage of your available limit.
Give your cards a bit of diversity. Have a credit account from three different umbrella companies. For example, having a Visa, MasterCard and Discover, is great. Having three different MasterCard’s is not as good. These companies all report to credit bureaus differently and have different lending practices, so lenders want to see a variety when looking at your report.
If you have challenged or denied negative items on your credit report and some still remain, you may be able to reduce that number even further by contacting the collection agency or creditor. By law, these companies need to provide written proof that the account is yours. This means a hard copy of a signed contract or other legally binding document, not just a printout of the information they have in their computer system. Many of these companies do not hold onto these documents. If they can’t come up with acceptable proof, they are required to remove the account from your credit report and stop all collection attempts.
Don’t apply for credit cards or other accounts over and over again until you get approved for one. Each time your credit report is pulled, it temporarily lowers your score just a bit. This lowering will go away in a short period of time, like a month or so, but multiple pulls of your report in a short period of time is a red flag to creditors and to your score.
A bad credit report could influence an employer’s decision when you apply for a job. Get the best job that you can, in order to secure a steady monthly income, that you can use to pay off your debt. Once you start making more money, you should be able to build up a better credit history.
Repairing bad credit is a vital task for the consumer looking to get into a healthy financial situation. Because the consumer’s credit score impacts so many important financial decisions, you need to improve it as much as possible and guard it carefully. Getting back into good credit is a process that may take some time, but the results are always worth the effort.