6 Things To Do If You Have a Bad Credit Score
If you find that you have a bad credit score, such as after applying for a loan, it’s natural to feel dejected. While you’ve made some mistakes in the past, there’s something to remember: you can make changes for the better in the future. It takes time to boost your credit score, but with the right strategy in place you can begin to make progress in the near future.
Here are six things to do if you have a bad or low credit score:
1. Check Your Credit Report for Accuracy
Believe it or not, there could be at least one mistake on your credit report that’s dragging down your score. By reviewing your report for accuracy, you can pinpoint any mistakes and then bring them to the attention of the appropriate credit bureau(s).
It’ll take some time to review every last detail of your credit report, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
2. Pinpoint Your Mistakes
What’s the reason for your bad credit score? Maybe you’ve defaulted on several loans in the past. Or maybe you’re in the habit of paying your bills a couple months late.
You can’t do anything to change the past, but you can pinpoint your mistakes with the idea of avoiding them in the future.
Don’t be afraid of what you’ll find. Own up to your mistakes and vow to never let them impact your credit score again.
3. Create a Budget
Do you know how much money you earn every month? Do you know how much money you spend?
With a budget in place, it’s much easier to avoid financial mistakes that impact your credit score.
Tip: review and change your budget as necessary, as your income and expenses aren’t likely to stay the same forever.
4. Continue to Use Credit
A bad credit score may force you to believe that you should cancel all your credit cards and avoid new loans. While you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew, it’s a mistake to run the other direction.
Using a credit card is a great way to improve your score, as long as you make minimum payments as required.
Just the same, you can improve your credit score by securing and paying on installment loans, such as an auto loan.
5. Don’t Go Crazy With Credit Applications
As noted above, using credit is one of the better ways to show that you’re a responsible consumer.
Unfortunately, if you go overboard in regards to credit applications, it can bring down your score.
There’s nothing wrong with applying for one credit card or loan every now and again, but too many hard inquiries is a big no-no.
6. Give Yourself Time
You want nothing more than to rid yourself of a bad credit score, but setting an unrealistic goal will only make things worse.
It can take many months to see positive results, so give yourself all the time you need to reach your goals.
Setting unrealistic goals can lead to disappointment, which may result in you giving up despite the fact that you’re on the right track.
A bad credit score doesn’t have to follow you for the rest of your life. When you take these six steps, you’ll find yourself making progress and closing in on a better score.