HOW TO IMPROVE A CREDIT SCORE & ESTABLISH CREDIT
Open a checking account
If you don’t have a checking account, potential lenders become very skeptical about the way you handle your financial affairs.
Open a savings account
When potential lenders see a savings account on your credit application, it gives them a good feeling, regardless of the amount you have in your account.
Open a charge account with a department store
These accounts are usually the easiest to get when you are new to credit.
Try getting a loan from a finance company
Financial companies are usually more receptive to individuals who are just starting out in credit. The interest rate is a lot higher than a bank, but your chances of getting started are greater. However, be sure you to talk with your personal bank in Houston Texas, and or your local area first in order to see if you’re able to get a loan before applying with another finance company.
Find a co-signer
Try to get a parent, family member and or friend to co-sign for you if your credit is not good enough. Meanwhile, please don’t bother asking anyone to help you if you’re not a responsible individual who’s planning on making on time payments.
Building your credit by using your current bills
PBRC connects people who lack a traditional credit history, by giving them the opportunity to add verified rental, utility, phone, and other recurring payments onto their credit profiles that aren’t reported to other credit bureaus. More so, Pay Rent, Build Credit, Inc. (PRBC) is an FCRA compliant repository that enables consumers and small business owners to build a credit file and score, based on their timely payment history of rent and other recurring bill payments. This can be used to demonstrate creditworthiness when applying for housing, credit, insurance, and employment. Furthermore, if you want to you learn how to improve a credit score, just incorporate these methods.
WHAT AFFECTS YOUR FICO SCORE; AS WELL AS, HINDERING YOU FROM IMPROVING A CREDIT SCORE.
Find out your FICO Score
Your FICO score can be found on your credit report that includes the credit score, so you need to obtain a copy of that first. There are three major reporting agencies in the U. S. and they are Experian, EquiFax, and TransUnion. Therefore, you’ll want to get a copy of your credit reports from all three, because they may all have slightly different information on them. All three credit bureaus use credit scores, but FICO is specific to Experian and TransUnion.
In order to get a free copy of your credit reports from all three credit bureaus, you can visit Annual Credit Report at FreeCreditReport.com which is a website owned and operated by Experian, or call them at 1-877-322-8228; as well as, www.annualcreditreport.com. You also can also write any of the agencies directly as well. Even though, Annual Credit Report does not offer you a copy of your credit score, there are so many that does like Identity IQ etc., but be mindful that the companies will charge fee to give you your credit score. Most importantly, after you receive both your credit report and scores, you will have the tools to know what’s affecting your credit and how to improve a credit score.
Evaluate your score
The point system technically ranges from 0 – 999, but all or nearly all actual scores fall between 330 and 850.
- 330 – 619: Poor credit. In banker jargon a person with a score in this range is considered a “Credit Leper.”
- 620 – 659: Sub-prime financing will be available to you.
- 660 – 720: Prime financing will be available to you.
- 721 – 750: Prime – x % interest rates may be available to you. That is, you may be able to get interest rates on loans that are even lower than the prime rate.
- 751+: Excellent credit. May enable you to get even lower prime -% interest rates depending on the credit type your utilizing.
Understand what affects your credit
The exact calculation of the FICO score is kept secret as proprietary information, but there are some general guidelines we can apply.
Approximately 30% of a credit score may be based upon amounts owed or other outstanding debt. A credit score can be negatively impacted if the amount owed is close to the credit limit. A low balance on two credit cards may be better than a high balance on one credit card.
Approximately 35% of a credit score may be based upon payment history. A credit score is negatively impacted if bills are paid late or if there is a history of delinquent payments listed on the credit report, which also includes public record such as bankruptcy, collection accounts, etc. Also, did you know that for each (30) day late payment on your credit report, would remain there for up to (7) years?
Length of Credit History:
Approximately 15% of a credit score may be based upon the length of credit history. Therefore, a credit score can be positively impacted the longer that accounts have been open, especially if they are with one financial institution.
New and Mixed Credit:
Approximately 10% of a credit score may be based upon how much new debt a consumer is incurring. With that being said, a credit score may be negatively impacted if someone has recently applied for a number of new credit accounts. Also, approximately 10% of a credit score may be based upon the types of credit currently in use by a consumer.
Approximately 10% of a credit score may be based upon inquiries. Therefore, one should be extremely cautious when applying for unnecessary accounts because it would negatively affect a credit score. However, promotional inquiries usually do not negatively impact a credit score.
Raise your score
Your overall FICO score is the culmination of years of credit experience, but even in the short run there are things you can do to raise it slightly. Always make your payments on time and don’t carry high balances on credit cards. Ideally, you would never go over half the available amount on your credit card for any extended period of time.
Serious credit problems could range anywhere from a 30-day late payment to a judgment. However, despite what you may have read on multiple websites, there’s no quick fix when repairing bad credit. Thus, there are ways remove inaccurate information from one’s credit report and how to improve a credit score over time.
If there is inaccurate negative information on your credit report, get it removed. Dispute the charge with the agencies by writing to them, but never dispute online to their websites. They then have 30-days to respond to your dispute. If they cannot verify the negative information within the allotted time frame, then they have to remove it.
If you have a 30-day late blemish on your credit you can dispute the negative information as above. If the credit bureaus can’t verify the 30-day late payment with your creditor, the information must be removed as well.
Consequently, if you have more serious credit problems such as a judgment, bankruptcy or foreclosure, then it may be in your best interest to seek a credit repair counselor or an attorney that specializing in area. Because you can sometimes settle your debts for less than 35 cents on the dollar and may be able to get some of the information removed.
By simply paying off a judgment could still to stain your credit for a minimum of 10 years. This is how long public records could affect a credit report. For Instance, a foreclosure the term is 7 years, for a bankruptcy is 10 years, and for tax liens is 5-7 years. Even after that amount of time goes by, you still may need to aggressively go after the agencies to get the information off your credit.
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A company will attempt to stall or reduce your payment by submitting a hardship package on your behalf. Many times the lender will work with a “foreclosure assistance” company before working with an individual attempting to submit a foreclosure package.
With this option, you can actually sell your house and continue living in. Some investors offer a buy back program where they will step-in quickly, purchase your house, and allow you to rent it while you catch up on your bills and even allow you to purchase it back from them once you are “back on your feet”. (Be very careful, some companies are better then others, and of course, you have those predators out there)
Restructure (Most Popular Alternative)
Some foreclosure companies will negotiate with your lender to get your loan in good standing again. There are many options available to get a restructure approved like a separate payment plan for your delinquency or even adding the delinquency to the end of your loan. No one can guarantee to restructure your payments, so be careful.
Pay your lender(s) your entire past due payments to bring your mortgage current. This option is rarely feasible. (However I know some private money lenders that will provide homeowners up to 90% for the reinstatement amount.)
Hardly available, through traditional lenders, however some foreclosure companies have established relationships with in-house lenders who can give loans on mortgages that are in foreclosure if there is enough equity in your property available.
Sell Your Home
You may simply sell your home before the Foreclosure Sale Date. Sometimes the home owner is unable to sell the home outright at the desired sale price and this is not an option.
In this instance the lender may take less than what you owe on the loan to avoid a lengthy and costly foreclosure process.
Deed-in-lieu of Foreclosure
You or a foreclosure company can arrange for you to simply give the home back to the lender and walk away with a clean slate.
This is a last resort. This will only save your home temporarily. If you miss one payment during this process the lender will put you right back into foreclosure.
IMPROVE A CREDIT SCORE BY REMOVING INACCURATE INFORMATION LIKE THE ONES LISTED BELOW.
- Late Payments
- Charge Offs
- Tax Liens
- Identity Theft
- Incorrect/ Inaccurate Information
- Closed Accounts
- Negative Settlements
SHOULD I DECLARE BANKRUPTCY?
There is no “quick and easy” answer to this question. You should discuss your situation with a credit repair specialist or a bankruptcy attorney, in order to evaluate your personal financial situation.
Not every debtor qualifies to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A means test is applied to determine if you will be able to repay a substantial percentage of your debt, and if you do not qualify for the program then you will be ineligible for a liquidation of your debts and will likely have to engage in a repayment plan as part of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
The type of debt you owe can be a significant factor in whether you file for bankruptcy or not, as well as the form of bankruptcy you pursue. Factors which may affect your decision to file for bankruptcy protection are detailed in this associated article: Filing For Personal Bankruptcy Protection in a U.S. Court.
REESTABLISH CREDIT AFTER A BANKRUPTCY
Your ability to rebuild credit after filing bankruptcy is better than it has ever been. After you get your discharge, you will receive many solicitations from lenders offering to finance homes, vehicles and credit cards.
Here are some tips to responsibly and successfully rebuild credit:
- Open a checking or savings account. Lenders may look at this to determine if you can responsibly handle money.
- Apply for store and gas credit cards that you would normally pay cash.
- Apply for a secured card where you deposit cash and charge against it. Pay advances back over two months so that they will be reflected as positive marks on your credit report.
- Pay your utility bills and rent on time for at least a year.
- Find a friend or relative to cosign for you on a loan and pay it on time.
- Look for car dealers and mortgage brokers that attest to be “bankruptcy friendly”. Buy a used car so you do not get hit with the depreciation that occurs during the first two years of a new car purchase.
- Stay away from payday loans that are at high interest rates and are a “bad credit” trap.
- Write a letter to each credit reporting agency explaining the circumstances that lead to you filing.
- Live within your means. Do not unnecessarily increase your debt to income ratio by taking on credit to purchase luxury items that you DO NOT NEED. Your payments on consumer debt should equal no more than 20% of your expendable income after costs for housing and a vehicle.
- Pay your reaffirmed, pre-bankruptcy debts on time.