Best Ways to Fix Your Bad Credit Score
If you are concerned about your poor credit score, there’s good news: while a low score may make you ineligible for mortgages, it’s no financial ruin. A credit score means nothing to a potential employer. It may help you land a job over someone else, especially if your credit score is considered to be on the high side.
While employers are not hiring people, they often use credit scores as a screening process. If you happen to have unpaid debts and have defaulted on loans in the past, your credit score may indicate that you are potentially a bad risk for the job. If that’s the case, an employer may ask you to take a background check to prove that you’ve never had a delinquent debt in your life.
Bad credit can really cause people to lose a job. One of the most obvious reasons your credit may cost you a job is that you don’t have the money to cover the overhead for running your own office. Unless you take on a virtual employee position, you may require expensive computers and equipment. If your office space requirements are extreme, you may have to rent a warehouse where you can rotate a set of files by month. If you own and run a small consulting firm, your credit score is vital to keep expenses at a minimum.
If you’ve had bad credit in the past, there’s a good chance you’ve encountered errors on your reports. These errors can have a terrible effect on your credit score. A low credit score is often due to a black mark on file that shouldn’t show up at all. If your credit score has suffered through a computer error, you may want to have this corrected.
The easiest way to quickly clean up a bad credit file is to dispute the negative items with the credit bureaus. However, if your records don’t exist in one place, you may have to obtain records from 3 or 4 bureaus to look them up. This may take several days, so don’t procrastinate! Additionally, you will need to calculate your score and check the information against your records.
If you dispute your credit report, the bureaus have 30 days (45 if the account is in collections) to contact the creditor and back up their information with documentation. Those negative items must be removed from your credit file if they can’t authenticate the accounts.
After you’ve taken these steps and you’ve paid more money down a subject line of credit, another way to clean up the black mark on your credit report is to close up any open accounts and open new accounts. This lists a home or mortgage, refinance, and car loans. Also, while paying down debt with this strategy, I can’t recommend increasing your credit limit as this can hurt your score.
If, after following these steps, you still have a blemish on your report, the initial step should also be to look at how you can minimize your costs.
Try setting one up if you don’t have a monthly budget (and most people don’t). You can find online budgeting tools on MS Money or Money Strands for free use. If you have a bunch of credit cards, you should always pay off the high-interest card first. Suppose you currently have no credit cards because of your low credit score. In that case, you may also want to consider applying for a consolidated loan (secured loan) at your local bank or credit union (most don’t require a credit check).
The last thing, perhaps, you want to consider at this point is to consolidate all your utility bills into one monthly payment.
Clean up your credit report, and work on establishing a budget for next month’s expenses, and you should soon be on your way to living a more stress-free life.