Sail Away from a Bad Credit History
Sail out of the sea of bad credit history and set a course for secure waters
You may think your credit history and credit score are nothing to worry about. You haven’t had a look at it for some time but today you find yourself in the position to look through it. Perhaps you are looking to start a new business, buy or rent a car or even set up utilities at new home. This is when your credit history and credit score become the rudder that drives your ship of poorly managed credit. If you have been hit with a high utility downpayment or a higher than expected finance percentage for a loan, you probably have damaged or bad credit.
It is not a call to abandon ship! Bad credit can hit you like a rogue wave but, with some adjustments to your financial plan, you can boost your credit history and credit score, and find yourself in steadier seas. Follow these tips to help improve your credit score!
Set a course for correction
You should review your credit report at least once a year. The are three credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian which creditors report to. View your credit report for free at annualcreditreports.com and look for incorrect information that could be affecting your credit history and credit score.
Start by highlighting any discrepancies on your credit report. Look at every detail from addresses to collection notations. Notations for collection or judgments will put a mark on your credit score even if the matter was resolved or if it was a mistake. You can dispute the notation and often the creditor will agree to remove it from your credit report. Some disputes take longer than others, so you need to be prepared in case there are rocky shores ahead.
Send up a flare
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You can talk with your creditors to see if they will help you manage any remaining debt you have. You can also seek help with a credit counselor. Come into to any branch office of Members First Federal Credit Union and ask to speak with a member specialist. They will explain key things you can do to get your credit back to a healthy score.
Adjust your sails and trim your budget
Here is where you have to take charge of your course correction.
- You need to make late payments a thing of the past. Set-up auto payments and regularly check your billing cycles.
- You need to balance your revolving debt. Pay off cards and lower debt where you can because your credit score is based on 30% of your overall debt.
- Have fewer credit cards and keep cards with history. The longer you have had an established card, the better. History makes up 15% of your score and is not reflective of payments.
- Stop spending and start budgeting. Take a hard look at a more controlled budget and make your money work for you instead of you working for the money.
Controlling credit is a difficult task if you have let your sails go loose. Time to take back the helm and turn the tide to a stronger credit score.