Whether you fell prey to the guys handing out credit cards like candy on campus, got carried away on one too many shopping sprees or got hit hard by the recent economic downturn, you probably did some damage to your credit. Luckily, there here are some steps that you can take to turn things around.
Remember that even asking for credit has a negative impact on your FICO score. One or two inquiries are not that big of a deal, but keep in mind that these inquiries stay on your credit for 2 years and they will add up. Don’t apply for cards or loans just to see if you’d get approved.
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.
To keep your credit record acceptable, do not borrow from different institutions. You might be tempted to take a loan from an institution to pay off another one. Everything will be reflected on your credit report and work against you. You should pay off a debt before borrowing money again.
To avoid getting in trouble with your creditors, keep in touch with them. Explain to them your situation and set up a payment plan with them. By contacting them, you show them that you are not a customer that does not intend to pay them back. This also means that they will not send a collection agency after you.
To build your credit score, apply for secure credit cards. You decide in advance how much these cards will cover, so that you do not spend more than you can afford to pay back. This should help you manage your finances efficiently and build your credit at the same time.
If you paid off an account, do not try to have it removed. Paid off accounts do have a positive effect on your FICO score, especially as they age. Every item on your report that shows that you have at some point made payments is a positive item.
An important tip to consider when working to repair your credit is to limit the amount of hard credit checks on your record. This is important because multiple checks will bring down your score considerably. Hard credit checks are ones that companies will cause when they check your account when considering for a loan or line of credit.
If you want to repair your credit score, always pay more than the minimum payment on your credit card bill. Paying more than the minimum payment helps you reduce your balance faster, leading you to your eventual goal of getting out of debt. In addition, paying more than what’s due benefits your credit rating directly.
It can seem impossible to repair your credit score, but just knowing what the steps are and making a plan can make it seem much less intimidating. Use the information you have learned here to help get you started on the journey to a better credit score.