Best Ways to Start Rebuilding Your Credit

Rebuilding Your CreditTHE FIRST THING TO DO

The first thing to do is to get a free copy of your credit report. By law you’re allowed annually one free copy of your credit report from the three major credit agencies: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. It’s important to get all three reports from all three agencies to compare and contrast any discrepancies such as late payments, charge offs or delinquencies.

SET ASIDE SOME TIME TO REVIEW

Now that you’ve gathered all the information from the credit agencies, set aside some time to figure out where you went wrong with your credit and prepare to fix it. If there are any items on your credit report that are wrong or don’t look familiar, file a dispute in writing. Even errors such as misspelling of your name, social security number or address could mean your personal information is mixed up with someone else. The credit agencies are obligated to remove any errors in personal information, which will help increase your score. The most highly used credit score scale used by the largest banks and lenders is the FICO score and generally a score of 720 and above is considered good.

MONITOR YOUR CREDIT REPORT

One important factor to raising your credit score is to make sure you pay your bills on time. While this may not seem important, 35% of your FICO score is determined by your history of payments made – whether you were late or current with your obligations. During this time of repairing your credit, you should prohibit yourself from applying for any additional credit, which may lower your score. If you have any other credit cards you don’t use as frequently, use them to make small purchases every few months to help grow your score and pay the bill off in full. If there are any outstanding balances from other cards stop using these cards until you pay them off even if it’s the minimum amount.

SEEK A CREDIT REPAIR COMPANY

If you don’t want to repair your credit on your own, you can go through a company that specializes taking care of that task for you. Many companies advertise that they’re the best and can help you clean up your credit within a short period of time. It’s very important to do your research on various credit repair companies to avoid getting scammed. Ask friends or family about a reputable credit repair company they may have used. Be prepared to pay associated fees with such a company.

REBUILD CREDIT

If you’re afraid to delve into the credit game after getting your credit score on the right path, obtaining some type of credit is key to rebuilding and keeping your good score intact. Look into getting a secured credit card, which is fairly easy to apply for. The good thing about a secured card is you put down a security deposit and whatever purchase is made will directly debit from the card. Managing the account properly and having this card reported to the three credit agencies will help maintain a good credit rating.

Once you get the secured card, don’t go on a spending spree and reach your card’s limit. You may have the idea in your head that swiping the card as much as possible will improve your credit score but it may look as if you’re about to max out to the credit agencies. You will want to use about 10-25% of available credit from the card to have a favorable score.

Common Mistakes That Can Destroy Your Credit Score

bounced chequeA BOUNCED CHEQUE

A bounced cheque is one of those reports that will never show up on the traditional credit report. This however, does not make its potential implications on your credit score any insignificant. While your bank may not list your bounced cheque case with the credit bureau, you might still find the record listed due to a bounced cheque that was taken up by a collection agency, civil or criminal charges against you owing to it or writing it to a company which reports to the credit bureau.

The bank may also list you on their ChexSystem which means your ability to open a checking account with another bank is not only limited for some years duration but also your credit limit is reduced.

FREQUENT APPLICATION OF NEW CREDIT CARDS

Anytime you apply for a credit card or a loan, the lender performs an analysis known as the ‘Hard Credit’ inquiry which seeks to review your credit score profile. This exercise will determine your FICO credit score to a tune of 10% and the score sticks to your credit report for a period of two years.

Frequent application of new credit cards also insinuates you are a financial risk to the lender. Statistical analysis has proved that having numerous new credit cards in a short time span is a bad indicator of an individual’s financial responsibility hence it causes a drop on their FICO score.

DELAYED PAYMENTS

Delayed payments are characteristic in high risk debtors due to unreliability. With your payment history accounting for 35% of your credit rating, you run the risk of having your bank sell you out to the collection agencies or notify your late payment to the credit bureaus. Both of these have a negative effect on your credit rating especially if the delay exceeds 30 days. This period will however vary from one institution to the other.

A singe late payment may soil your previously good credit rating, though this takes into consideration the severity of the delay, its frequency, and current credit score and how recent it occurred. This might be avoided where you reach out to your lender for a compromise in payment method in cases where some personal issue has arisen making your prior arrangement hard to comply with.

CO-SIGNING FOR FRIENDS AND FAMILY

Before endorsing friends and family for a loan, you may need to consider its effect on your credit rating. Co-signing for a credit with a very high balance could affect your utilization ratio, consequently causing a drop in your credit score.

As a guarantor, you take up the responsibility of ensuring full settlement of the loan by the borrower in accordance to the stated terms. A default or inconsistent loan servicing by the borrower lowers your credit score.

 

Your Credit Score and What It Says About You

Credit ScoreA person’s FICO credit score isn’t something that should be taken lightly. Obtained through a system called credit scoring, it greatly determines the decision made by creditors about whether or not to give you credit. A credit score may also be utilised to determine the terms and rates of credit advanced to you.

The score is arrived at after the evaluation of your credit report. Some of the elements that make their way to the credit report include the number, types, and ages of accounts you hold, bill paying history, whether you pay your bills on time, and the outstanding debt. Creditors then use a statistical program to compare your loan repayment history with that of consumers who have similar profiles.

Generally, the scoring system attach points to every factor that has the capacity to predict the person most likely to repay a debt. The credit score, which is the total number of points, predicts the creditworthiness of a person. Ideally, it represents the likelihood of a consumer repaying debts when they fall due.

Why is a good credit important to you as a consumer? As already mentioned, your score largely determines the decision made by the creditors on whether or not to lend you money. Should a lender decide to advance credit to you, your score will also be used to determine the amount as well as the terms and rates. Some insurance companies also utilise credit reports to anticipate your likelihood of filing a claim and the amount. As such, this information is useful to them when deciding if to grant you insurance, and the premium they will charge. This includes the auto insurance companies. Insurance firms refer to these scores as insurance scores.

Consumers are advised to maintain credit worthiness for various reasons. Below are other benefits that you can reap from having a good credit score:

• It makes it easier for landlords to approve your application for rental houses and apartments
• It gives you more borrowing power. Banks and other financial institutions will find it easy to allow you to borrow more money at lower rates. This is mainly because a good score adds to your negotiating power
• A good credit makes you feel good about yourself – especially if you have had to work extra hard to take your credit score from worse, or bad to good.

Bottom line: while lenders usually consider many factors, besides the credit score, to make credit decisions, a good score makes them perceive you as low risk. Ultimately, you will qualify for many types of loans and credit offers at the lowest rates availed to you.

12 Strategies to Improve Your Credit Score

Improve Your Credit ScoreWhen it comes to a poor credit rating, there’s no quick fix. It’s kind of like managing weight. It’s so easy to gain weight over a short period of time with poor health habits. Losing the weight is a different story. It takes sometimes 2-3 times longer to lose weight than it took to gain it. Credit scores are similarly difficult to rebuild. There are, however, strategies to help you strengthen your credit score over time.

Ask your credit card company to increase your limit: They may deny you, but if they don’t, it’s one way to improve your credit score over time. The catch is that you can’t max out your card once your limit has been increased. Leave the credit window open and pay down your balance to $0 for the best credit results.

Open numerous accounts: In the short term, this won’t do much to improve your score. Over time, however, it is the amount of credit you aren’t using or can pay down each month that will build your score. Spending on every card you open can lead you down a path of surmounting debt. Be very strategic if you try this method to build your score. Use them intermittently for small purchases to keep your account open, and pay them off immediately. You will also have more cards to track for fraudulent charges. Only open as many accounts as you can reasonably monitor for the best results from this strategy.

Never skip a payment or pay late: Paying your mortgage late or forgetting to pay a credit card bill can cause even good credit scores to plummet if they get listed on your rating. Having a high credit score can mean the difference in thousands of dollars in extra fees and interest over time for large loans and expenditures. If you know you’re going to have difficulty making a payment on time, contact your creditor. You may be able to get the payment date moved temporarily or work out some other arrangement to ensure your credit score does not suffer due to unforeseen circumstances.

Don’t max out your credit card: Having good payment history and owning a credit card are only pieces of the credit score equation. Try not to carry a balance that is over 35% of your credit limit. If you have a high balance on one card and relatively low balances on others, it may make sense to transfer the high balance to several low balance cards to keep the percentage of each card at or under 35%.

Don’t close unused card accounts: Long histories of holding a card positively impacts your credit score. Even if you don’t use a card, you should hold onto and monitor the account. It can be beneficial even if the account is completely inactive.

Use your home equity line to pay down debt: Occasionally, it makes sense to transfer your credit card debt to a new or existing home equity line. If you use this approach, you should only transfer debt if the interest rate on your home equity line is lower than that of your credit card. You should also focus on paying down the debt instead of carrying it on the home equity line. This strategy can improve your score because the scoring formula that FICO uses evaluates your handling of different types of debt.

Individualize your accounts after divorce: Since married couples share debt burdens, what one spouse does will affect the other’s score. Joint accounts should be paid down and closed or transferred into individual accounts. Then, you will have the challenge of rebuilding independent credit with new cards, loans, or a mortgage

Pay off debt as you go: Make extra payments throughout the month to prevent the appearance of debt accumulation over the course of a month. It will leave you without as much money in your bank account through the month but can help build and keep your credit score higher.

Become a joint credit holder on someone else’s account: If you know someone who has great payment history and a good credit score, tying into his or her account can actually help you improve your credit score. You need to be able to trust in whoever’s account you join, however, because his or her poor payments will affect you. Getting removed from a joint account may be difficult, as well.

Review your credit report: Make sure you contact credit reporting companies and get outdated or incorrect information removed from your history. Inaccuracies can take up to a month to correct, but is a short-term solution to boosting your score.

Don’t apply for too many credit cards at once: Inquiry information is reported to credit reporting agencies and will be listed on your report for two years. Multiple inquiries can significantly impact your credit score for up to a year. Mortgages and car loans are exceptions to this strategy. Multiple inquiries will be treated singularly and will not affect your credit score.

Talk with creditors: If you face a difficult financial situation, your credit may work with you to find a viable solution to help you pay off debt without defaulting. Not talking to your creditor and defaulting on a card may mean you will be contacted by a collections agency, and your credit score will certainly be impacted.

Keep your knowledge of your credit score up-to-date so that you know if you need to work on rebuilding or maintaining it. Contacting a credit specialist can also be beneficial in informing you about what is going on with your credit. At National Credit Advisors, we will provide you with a free credit case evaluation and help you build your credit with a number of proven tactics.

Call National Credit Advisors, today! For only $9.95 a Certified Credit Analyst will pull your credit report and give a comprehensive review of the items on your report!