My Credit Score is Low, How Can I Get Credit?

When your credit score is low due to problems you have had in the past with credit it can be difficult to be approved for new credit. It would be wonderful if there was a magic formula for this but there is not. The way you can repair your bad credit or poor credit is to rebuild it. Just as you would rebuild a house that catches fire or a barn that is destroyed in a storm the same can be said for your credit.

It often ends up feeling like a vicious cycle that you are caught in. You need to rebuild your credit by obtaining new credit that gives you the opportunity to prove that you are and can be a responsible credit user and an effective money manager. The problem is that everywhere you turn no one wants to take a chance on you by extending you credit because you are a high credit risk.

It is easy to lose heart and to feel like throwing your hands up in the air in defeat but you need to realize that it will take some time to improve your credit score. Having a low credit score is not the end of the world although it may feel like it sometimes.

Think small when it comes to credit as you start down the road to financial recovery. Before you think about applying for a car loan or a mortgage get your bank account in order. If you have been thinking about starting a savings account then this is the time to do it. Make sure that you add funds to your savings account on a regular basis.

Being consistent can also lend itself to a more financially stable picture. Once you have enough money saved you might even want to think about opening a certificate of deposit or an IRA account.

You should also think about finding a credit card that is right for you and right for your low credit score. It is very tempting to apply for every credit card application that you come across online and through the mail but stop yourself from doing this. Multiple credit card applications may seem smart to you because the more places you apply to the more chances you have of being approved for at least one. Right? This is not exactly the case.

Every time you apply for credit it will show up on your credit report. Too many applications do not help your credit score to increase and it also makes you look desperate. This is not what you wish to communicate to prospective borrowers! Your desperateness will make them very cautious and downright suspicious. It will also make it more likely that you will not receive the answer you are hoping for.

If your credit score is low then rebuilding your credit is an absolute necessity. You need to find a credit card that is based on your credit score. A search on Google should help you to find credit card matches for your score. You may have to start with a secured credit card but it is a good starting point and will help you to re-establish your credibility.

Another important aspect of credit recovery is proving to your potential creditors and to yourself that you can pay all of your bills on time. Remember that your bill paying habits find their way onto your credit report in the same way that your credit spending habits do as well.

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A Guide To Credit Cards

Credit CardThis is the site for all things credit card related! How to use them, what to use from for, where to get them, how to apply, what your credit score is, how your credit history determines your credit score, what effect it has on your application process, who are the best credit card issuers, what are the best credit cards, how to get interest free cards, what credit card rewards are available, how to pay your bills, the difference between credit cards and debit cards, your credit score – and much more!

Here are some useful articles to help get you started:

US Credit Cards

How to Receive Your Free Credit Report Online

 

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How To Fix Your Credit Report Yourself

An ideal way of applying for financial assistance when there are errors in the credit report is to first fix your credit report. Your credit report is the reference point for any organization getting in touch with you for a commercial relationship, which could be a job or a loan. Therefore, it is important to monitor your credit report on a regular basis and fix the errors before organizations review them.

How to Fix Your Credit Report

Fixing a credit report is a combination of many activities and, depending on the kind of error, different strategies work for different situations. Here are a few tips that can help you in fixing or repairing your credit report, other than writing to the credit agencies.

  • Create a budget: It’s good to know the amount that one can save in order to pay off the debt. Therefore, carefully and practically identify the amount that you can spare. Use credit proportionally to the amount that you can save.
  • Contact the creditors: Contact them as soon as you realize that you will not be able to make the payment. They might permit an extension of the payment date. This prevents the default from being reported to collection agencies.
  • Get agreements in writing: Any negotiation or agreement that you make should be collected in ‘black and white.’ This will act in your defense in case of any dispute.
  • Decrease your card usage: Stop using your card and try to continue paying an amount slightly higher than the minimum amount.
  • Close down some credit accounts: Do not close all the accounts at the same time. Retain the oldest accounts and close the newest ones. The number of accounts is a factor while calculating your credit score. Do not close all. Just close the smaller ones or pay them off.
  • Request for a secured credit card: Many banks give secured credit cards after some deposits. Therefore, try to get one to enhance your credit report.

Make payments on time: Do not delay your payments even by a day without the permission of the creditor. Late payments or missed payments reflect badly on your credit history.

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Are Interest Free Credit Cards Really Free?

An interest free credit card sounds like a dream come true doesn’t it? After all it is interest that is the killer for those who carry a balance on their credit cards month after month. Paying off the principal is not the problem but it is instead high interest that can lead to a huge debt load for the average consumer.

When you hear the term interest free credit card it is somewhat misleading. The reality of the matter is that all credit card companies charge daily interest on their cards. If they did not then they would not remain in business for very long.

On the other hand, it is possible to obtain a credit card that will not charge you any interest for a certain time period. The terms for such differ from one credit card issuer to another. Always check with more than one company and then compare what each has to offer you. Do not settle for anything but the best deal possible.

There are some credit card companies that offer interest free credit cards as an introductory offer to entice new customers to come their way. What happens is that no interest is charged on purchases made on the card for a three month period, a six month period or if you are lucky enough to  find it- a 12 month period.

This introductory offer may have its own type of stipulations attached to it. It often is connected to how much money gets charged to the credit card. In other words, you are given a limit. If you charge over that amount then you will be required to pay interest charges.

Many companies find this an effective means to drum up new business. However for the consumer you must be on the look out for an interest free credit card that is a good deal and not one that will lead you down the path of debt once the interest fee period is up. Always find out how much interest you will be subject to pay once the period of interest free spending has come to an end.

If you presently have a credit card at your disposal but then discover an interest free credit card that appeals to you because it offers better rates find out if you can transfer the balance to the new card. Doing this will make it possible for you to enjoy the zero percent introductory rate that the credit card company has to offer. It is imperative however that you find out ahead of time if you will be charged a fee by the new company to transfer the balance or not.  If you can find it then seek out a company that does not charge a fee whatsoever to transfer an outstanding balance.

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How to Receive Your Free Credit Report Online

Credit ReportEvery citizen and legal resident of the US has the right to receive free credit reports once a year from the three main credit reporting agencies (CRAs), namely Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. This is as per the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). However, to obtain the free credit reports, you need to request for a copy, as it is not sent automatically to your mailbox or inbox.

Ways to Obtain Free Credit Reports Online

Here are the ways in which you can get free credit reports online:

  • Submitting a request form at individual websites: You can submit your request for a free credit report on the websites of Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. However, this is time consuming. Moreover, you might have to sign up for a free trial offer at these sites to get your free credit report online. This offer, if not canceled within the stipulated time, might prove to be a burden on your pocket. In certain instances, you may end up paying for your free copy of the annual report unless you meet the qualifications for a free copy, based on the agency’s policies and standards.
  • Visiting AnnualCreditReport.com: This is the official website mandated by the federal government for obtaining free credit reports online. All the three credit bureaus come together on this website to provide you with an annual copy of your credit report on your request. At this site, you can request to obtain your free copy from all the three bureaus simultaneously. Alternatively, you can stagger your request over the year such that you can check your credit report three times a year for free.

Free Credit Report Online: What to Do Next?

When you receive your free credit report online, it is critical to check for the authenticity of the entries. This is because the three agencies might be receiving information from different creditors, resulting in incomplete credit information. Sometimes errors might creep in as a result of inaccurate or incomplete information provided by the creditors. This could hurt your creditworthiness.

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What Is A Good Credit Score Rating & How To Better It

Credit Score And ReportBefore financial institutions lend credit to a consumer, they check the credit report and credit score of the applicant. The credit score reflects the creditworthiness of an individual and thus is the reference point for lenders to investigate the payment history and capabilities of a consumer.

How Is Your Credit Score Determined?

A credit report is the complete credit summary of a consumer. Although a credit report is a document of many pages and has codes, understanding your credit report is essential for analyzing your creditworthiness. Reading a credit report lowers the chances of identity theft and other factual or clerical errors that may occur.

Typically a credit report is divided into five sections, namely:

  • Credit summary
  • Account history
  • Public information
  • Inquiries
  • Creditor information

Using the data present in the above sections, the credit score is calculated. These scores can be interpreted as numerical filters that differentiate between good borrowers and risky borrowers. They make reading the indications of a credit report easy. All lending institutions use the credit score to evaluate the extent of risk associated with a consumer.

Credit scores are generally between the range of 300 and 850, with the threshold being 620. Consumers with credit scores lower than 620 are considered risky and face difficulties finding a creditor. People in the mid and high 700s enjoy the best offers and interest rates.

Credit scores predict the probability of a consumer missing a payment for more than 90 days in the forthcoming year. Fair Isaac created the algorithm for calculating the scores and, hence, credit scores are also known as FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) score.

How To Boost Your Credit Score

The key to improve your credit score, is to first understand the factors that impact your credit report.

They are:

  • Late payments
  • High level of credit card debt
  • A large number of applications for credit
  • Young credit history
  • Reporting to collections
  • Bankruptcy
  • Tax liens and judgments

These factors have to be worked on proactively to improve your credit score and build your creditworthiness.

To read more on why you should know your credit score, please visit www.loanfinder.co.za

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