A human being defined by a number seems like bad news or something that can only happen in some dystopia. Unfortunately, numbers like your credit score can control a lot of the things that you are allowed to do, especially since it is tied with money and loans.
A credit report is your financial history. If you fall behind on loan repayments, you will have a lower score. This, in turn, will impact your chances of getting future loans and credit cards.
Now, bad credit does not last forever. Depending on what kind of information is in your credit report, you may face problems for two to seven years. You can also improve your credit score.
Here are some tips to accomplish that.
Understand Your Credit Report
First of all, you should know what your credit score is. Beyond that, you should also get a copy of your full credit report. This way, you can go through it to understand what kind of listings are impacting your score. From there, you will know which areas you can improve.
Aside from getting a clearer picture of your history, going through your credit report can also help you track down inaccurate listings. While default listings and accurate listings cannot be removed, you can have erroneous information corrected or removed. You can dispute credit reports on your own. You do not need to pay a credit repair company to do this for you.
Keep Accounts in the Black
It is always good to have a budget planned out for all the things that you need to survive. Doing so will also help you to keep yourself on top of bill payments which can significantly affect your credit score.
To make this more manageable, you can make use of debt consolidation or debt agreements. However, you must understand just what you are getting into with these options before agreeing to them. How much do you need for food and entertainment? What about rent? Which bills should you pay first to avoid more bad credit? These are some of the things you need to have a good understanding of.
You can also use a financial app or just plain ink and paper to help you prioritise your necessities.
Avoid More Debt
While this seems like a no-brainer, it is not something that can be easily avoided. There are things that you desperately require money for, either for your job or just everyday convenience.
Pick and choose what debts you can handle and which ones to stay away from. For instance, it is not impossible to get a loan, including car loans, with a bad credit record, but you must know if that is the best move for your current situation.
Do not also make multiple credit applications, as this will hurt your credit score as well. If you want to inquire for a car loan, spend a maximum of 45 days for your loan shopping. Within this 45-day window, multiple credit inquiries are treated as one.
Monitor Your Credit
Lastly, you have to monitor your credit score. You can either do it on your own or you can get a credit monitoring service to do it for you. Monitoring your credit report will help you keep track of your progress. It will also keep you safe from identity theft and fraud. You will be able to quickly identify any accounts that you did not make, report the suspicious activities to the credit reporting bureaus, and have the listings removed from your report.
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