Your Credit Score, does it need Improving?
Unless you’re paying for everything in cash – including a home and car – you need to make sure that you have the best credit score you can possibly have.
Even if you’re of the mindset that you’ll never use credit, you’ll still need a card for things like airline or car reservations.
For most Americans, it’s not a matter of whether they’ll be using credit. Most people do. Instead, it’s a matter of what kind of credit you can get.
We live in a nation riddled with debt and mired in credit issues. There’s a vicious cycle where people take out credit because they can’t afford to pay for something in full. They max out so many cards that eventually they can’t even make the minimums on their credit accounts.
Here are a few things that a bad credit score impacts:
Ability to get a cell phone
These are not the big ones like buying a car or a house.
Take a Look at Where You Stand Now
You can’t fix something until you know what needs to be repaired. You may have been told that you were declined for credit, and that sparked your desire to clean up your credit score and be in good standing.
Or maybe you’re considering a big-ticket purchase (like a new car or mortgage) and you want to make sure you’re where you need to be. Sticking your head in the sand and ignoring the problem just makes it worse.
Daniel Wesley in his article published January 22, 2018 “The Step-by-Step Guide to Improving Your Credit Score With Zero Mistakes”
Go over these 6 steps on how to Improve your credit score.
Step1: Check Your Credit Score for errors and dispute them
Step 2: Don’t Hesitate to Dispute Items
Step 3: Understand What Contributes to Your FICO Score
Step 4: Put Your Cards on Auto-pay
Step 5: Tackle the Biggest First
Step 6: Don’t Be Late!
Is a Credit Counselor or Debt Consolidation a Good Option?
In some cases, they are wise options – but not for everybody. Basically, if you can handle it on your own without a debt counselor or consolidation loan, then it’s better to do it that way.
But some people simply aren’t good at managing money or their credit. Having a professional guide you along the way can be a real blessing that removes the stress of the situation from your life.
Using a Credit Counselor.
A credit counselor is someone who helps you make a budget and debt plan. They’ll educate you about your finances and assist you to know what is the best course of action. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling is one option. They help using a low-cost scale.
When you find a credit counselor, they’ll want you to bring any pay stubs you have along with statements, a listing of assets, and a list of your monthly bills including groceries, gas, etc.
If you’re already getting collection agency calls or letters, they’ll need to see those so that they can help you get on the right track as soon as possible, because those are the most urgent ones.
The biggest thing you need to be aware of before dealing with a credit counseling service is that there are a ton of scams out there. You want to be working with a non-profit agency – one who won’t cause you more harm than good when it comes to your credit score.
Debt consolidation is when you take all your debt that’s owed and merge it into one account, typically lowering your monthly payment. This doesn’t immediately boost your credit score, though.
In fact, it can hurt it initially. Yes, you’ll lower your monthly payment – so if you can’t make your minimums, this might be an option. But it suddenly puts a hard inquiry on your credit report – plus, you now have a big installment loan on your credit report, too.
The hard work can pay off.
Cleaning up your credit when you’re in a rush can be frustrating and disheartening. You sometimes wish you just had a clean slate to do it all over again – better!
But that’s not how it works.
The good news is, once you have your money under control, you have the opportunity to enjoy pristine credit for years to come.
It’s very freeing once you’re out from under the thumb of the credit and debt monster.