A bad credit score can ruin your plans for the future
Bad credit ratings can destroy dreams. You may want to buy a house, a new car, or borrow a little money to take your family on that dream holiday in Bali. But then your credit history comes up, and the application is rejected. It’s the stuff of nightmares.
However, all is not lost. There are ways to deal with a bad credit rating and even one way to get your hands on some money while you’re waiting for your score to improve. Here’s how.
Play the waiting game
Okay, so this isn’t what you want to hear, but it’s useful information nonetheless. A bad credit rating will stay on your credit report for about seven years. Of course, this is an approximate figure as it really depends on how many defaults you had or how much you may have borrowed in the past.
Generally speaking though, once you keep on top of your payments and make no applications for credit during that seven-year period, your credit rating will be back to normal. It would help if you learned and took advantage of free credit checks to understand your financial position better. Aside from gaining insight into your previous loans and default information, a credit check allows you to correct mistakes in your record.
Don’t apply for new credit
Every time you apply for credit, this goes onto your credit report. Lenders who see a pattern of repeated attempts to borrow will feel that you don’t have your finances in order and will likely reject any application you make. If you want to repair your rating, stop asking for more money.
Pay off outstanding debts
Any outstanding debts are a red flag to a borrower as they feel this will affect your ability to repay your loan. Try your best to pay off these outstanding debts first before asking for any new credit. And yes, that includes your credit card.
However, when you’re struggling with multiple debts, this may be easier said than done. Taking out another loan to pay off or minimize your outstanding debt will be close to impossible if you have bad credit. If you’re paying off several credit cards and personal loans, consider checking out bad credit debt consolidation loans, which are designed for borrowers with poor credit histories.
What are the benefits of a debt consolidation loan for bad credit?
- Repay debt faster: Consolidating your loans into one loan may help you settle your debt more quickly.
- Avoid penalties: You’ll never miss a loan payment when you have only one deadline to remember.
- Save on interest: You can save money on interest rates when you only have one loan to manage.
- Boost your credit: Repaying your debt more efficiently means lowering your debt-to-credit ratio, which in turn improves your credit score.
- Qualify for a loan despite your bad credit: Poor or bad credit minimizes the types of loans available to you. However, bad credit debt consolidation loans are designed for borrowers struggling with imperfect credit but otherwise qualified to take out a loan because of their income capacity and current financial situation.
However, keep in mind that consolidating your loans alone won’t solve your financial problems. It would help if you shunned unhealthy financial habits such as overspending or not saving for emergencies. Debt consolidation loans are simply instruments to boost your credit rating by helping you repay debt faster.
Keep your debt-to-credit ratio low
While your overall debt is important, your debt-to-credit ratio is just as important. For example, $500 on a credit card with a $1000 limit is considered worse than the same debt on a card with a $2000 limit. On the first card, your ratio is 50% while on the second card it’s only 25%. So don’t max out that card.
Keep using your credit card
This may sound a little odd, but continued use of your credit card is actually a good thing. If you use your card to pay for items regularly and pay your bills on time (not the minimum), then you are proving to a potential lender that you can manage a credit account responsibly. So if you have a credit card that is in good health, keep it that way and use it regularly.
In case of emergencies
There are times when you have no choice but to borrow. It could be for essential repairs to your car or home or another unexpected bill. While your high street bank will be unlikely to help, a short-term loan provider will take a different view. Now, we did mention earlier that repeated applications for credit are a bad thing but in all likelihood, this will be an approved application, and when repaid in full, it will reflect well on your credit report. Pay it off on time, and this will do your credit rating no harm at all.
As you can see, a poor credit rating while terribly inconvenient isn’t the end of the world. With a little common sense, patience, and will power, you can get your rating back on track in no time at all. However, you have to remember; one late payment can affect your report. So always pay your bills on time, especially those that are on credit.