There are 5 common ways to fix your bad credit. Although some people may not be aware of them, these methods are nothing new and have been around for quite some time. The following is a list of the top 5 ways to fix your bad credit:
- Make Payments on Time
- Increase Available Credit
- Pick 1 credit card to focus on.
- Pick 1 thing you can live without.
- Stop using credit.
Why you should make credit card payments on time
There are many lenders (auto, mortgage and credit card companies) that access your credit history before making a financial decision on your behalf. One category that always gets a good looking over is your payment history, because it shows the lender how responsible you are with making your payments and making them on time. The good is if you have missed a payment here and there it is not a huge deal but if you miss payments a few cycles in a row that is not good. It is like when you are interviewing for a job and they call your last employer and they find out you were late quite a bit. On the other hand if you were late to work once every 2 months it won’t be mentioned. Same principal for making payments on time with your credit cards.
In addition, when you miss a payment you become subject to a few issues with credit card companies. First, your credit card will attach a late payment fee and in some cases they may give you a penalty interest rate. As if your life is not already hard enough, obviously there is a lot going on if you missed a payment. Then they add insult to injury with this punishment. Also you become subject to universal default where other credit cards can legally penalize you for missing a payment on a totally different card. This is not the make a bad choice and only the witnesses find out scenario, everybody finds out.
Why you need to increase your available credit
Your goal is to get out of debt and fix your credit score. You can begin working towards this by increasing your available credit. The amount of available credit is what makes so many people have bad credit scores. They have literally used up more than 70% of their available credit (for example your credit limit is $2,000 and you have $200 available). This hurts your score so much because it shows the lenders and/or credit card companies that you do not have enough cash and you need to rely on using your credit card. So, if you pay down your balance and increase your available credit, you send a different message to credit card companies. Eventually, your available credit increases in 2 ways: by you paying the balance down and the companies will usually extend your credit line while your paying down your balance and based on how long you have had the line of credit.
Why you need to pick 1 credit card to focus on
It happens all the time, people get motivated and do drastic things that are not helpful in the long run. For example you commit to losing weight and you exercise for 2 hours the first 2 days, but by day # 3 you are sore and exhausted so you stop working out. This happens with paying off credit cards. People get extra money and instead of paying off 1 card they make payments on 3 credit cards. Although they reduce the balance on all of them at the end of the day they still have 3 credit cards instead of the 2 they would have by focusing on 1 card at a time.
Why you need to pick 1 thing you can give live without
Getting out of debt is about sacrifices and not wasting money. Some people have to keep up with the latest trends and place themselves further in debt. I have done it too and then it hit me by iPhone 6s plus. I was buying new iPhone after new iPhone and then I realized I do not have 1 iPhone that is not in mint condition. They all can play the same games, display the same apps etc. so I am wasting money buying a new iPhone every release. I won’t buy the iPhone 7!
Another example is coffee, I learned that kcups are not economical they are just quick and convenient. I also learned that $2.50 for a venti at Starbucks every day is of $14.00 and a 32oz bag of Starbucks Dark Roast is 17.00 at BJs. Before I learned about BJs I was paying the 2.50 but I thought I was doing it right because I was using my cash back debit card! However, the Bjs bag is much more economical.
Why you should stop using credit cards
I increased my credit score (FICO score) tremendously a few years ago just by not using my credit cards for a few months. I recently wrote a blog about it because it was around this time a few years ago where I noticed the big bump in my credit score, I had finally joined the 700 club! Additionally, the interest on credit cards even if it is low is ridiculous. In my state we complain all the time about taxes on products, well credit card interests rates are a bit higher than taxes. Lastly, if you do not pay off entire balances by the end of promotional periods your balance nearly doubles.
Bonus #6 Hire a Credit Repair Agency
Here is a bonus the number 6 way to fix bad credit is to hire a credit repair agency. By law you are entitled to a free consultation from credit repair agencies. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) the Credit Repair Organizations Act requires consumers of credit repair services to receive a copy of their legal rights and it protects customers from being charged prior to services being performed. The resources on this page will elaborate in more detail about this law.