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Expert Guidance on Building or Repairing Your Credit

Expert Guidance On Building Or Repairing Your Credit

by / 1 Comment / Sep 06, 2015

There’s no magic bullet or secret formula that can instantly create a credit history or fix a bad FICO score overnight. Building good credit is a journey. The key word is responsibility, and you will see this mentioned time and time again. It’s equally important to make wise financial choices. The following articles by 10 knowledgeable financial writers all reaffirm the need to build credit by using credit, and establishing good habitswhile doing so.

  1. Cardratings.com founder Curtis Arnold examines The Quickest Way to Build Credit Using a Secured Credit Card.
    • Look for the AmEx, MasterCard, Visa or Discover logo to besure the card you get is accepted most places, and find one that reports your credit usage to all three main credit card bureaus.
    • Compare the deposit requirements to select the card best suited for your budget.
    • Do your utmost to pay your full credit bill every month so that you don’t carry a balance. But in the event that a carry-over balance cannot be avoided, it’s important to compare APRs before choosing your secured credit card. Interest rates for secured cards are typically higher than other credit card offerings.Try to go no higher than 15 percent. Be sure to read all the terms before committing to a card.
    • Whether or not your secured card will have pre-qualifications depends largely on just how bad or non-existent your credit is. No pre-qualifications equals extremely bad credit terms.
    • Set a goal to graduate to a regular credit card within 12 to 18 months. If your secured card issuer doesn’t provide this option, go looking on your own once your credit score is higher than 650.
  2. In 3 Ways to Increase Your Credit Score in 2015, Matthew Frankel gives you detailed information about repairing damaged credit with specific examples and tips.
    • If your problem is bad credit, assess your negative credit items to determine which information can be removed or minimized.
    • Pay as much as possible on your debt so that your available credit is a much higher percentage than the amount you have used. This helps your credit utilization ratio, which is an important part of your credit score.
    • Apply for a new credit card or request an increase on your existing credit line. Do not use the new available credit. This is another method of improving your credit utilization ratio.
  3. If you have not yet established a credit history, Credit Karma’s Build Your Credit from Scratch offers some helpful tips for your situation.
    • Qualifying for and using a credit card responsibly will help you build credit. Because you don’t yet have credit, it will be difficult to get approved. However, you may be able to qualify for a retail credit card. If you’re a student with an income, a student credit card is a good option. If neither of these options apply, try a secured credit card.
    • Being added as an authorized user on the account of a close friend or family member with good credit is a great way to jump start your credit score.
  4. On nerdwallet, AnishaSekar also discusses Building a Credit Score from Scratch: 4 Easy Steps for consumers and students who don’t have a credit record yet.
    • The first step is to learn the basics of FICO and how your credit score is determined, which the article concisely covers. Seker explains the contribution that payment history, debt, length of credit history, new credit and types of credit make toward your score.
    • You will then need to follow the guidelines for levelheaded credit use to establish your credit worthiness over time. These include paying on time, keeping your debt low, monitoring your credit report and other practices that make you a good risk to lenders.
    • You’ll need to know what your score is and what appears on your report.Seker steers you towards some sites that can help you with this.
    • After you have educated yourself, work on getting a credit card to start building your credit and actually putting into practice what you have learned. Your available options are likely a student card or a secured card.
  5. In 7 simple ways to improve your credit scoreon Bankrate.com, Dana Dratch walks you through some tried and true methods for establishing a good credit history to boost your credit score.
    • Dratch advises you on how to keep a good debt-to-credit ratio and explains in detail the best way to shop for large ticket items on credit so that the multiple inquiries don’t affect your credit too detrimentally.
    • You should eliminate unnecessary cards, and adaptwise financial habits.
    • Don’t make the mistake of trying to eliminate old debt because it’s paid off, since this is good debt and it helps your credit score.
    • Avoid risky behavior, such as taking out cash advances, missing payments or suddenly decreasing the amounts you’re paying.
    • Find out what your credit score is and monitor it regularly.
  6. If you’re a student looking to establish a credit history, Jeremy Simon of CreditCards.com offers some good advice with 10 ways students can build good credit.
    • Becoming an authorized user on your parents’ accounts is a popular method for establishing credit.
    • If you’re working, you may be able to qualify for a credit card in your own name, but do your research and select a card that is suited to your needs. For many, a secured card may be your only option at first.
    • Use your card for inexpensive, regular purchases. Avoid large expenditures. This keeps your debt-to-credit ratio low and allows you to pay your balance every month, which is a must.
    • Don’t slack off on any of your other bills, and make sensible decisions with your finances. Don’t co-sign for anyone else to help them get credit, and stick to just one credit card for yourself. Applying for multiple cards will negatively impact your credit.
    • Student loans are meant solely for your educational needs. Use the funds wisely and make timely payments.
  7. On Forbes.com, 11 Ways To Raise Your Credit Score, Fast provides some excellent techniques and tips that can yield results over 30 to 60 days.
    • Start with a copy of your credit report and dispute any errors you find. Be sure to check for accuracy in your credit limit amounts. Attempt to negotiate with creditors over negative items.
    • Obtaining and using a credit card shrewdly is a good credit-building tool. Never max out your card. It’s much better if you keep your credit utilization ratio below 30 percent. If you already have a card and you’re close to the limit, ask for an increase, but do not use the additional credit line.
    • Work on getting any high balances down. It helps if you pay on them twice a month. Regardless, always pay all of your bills on time.
    • If you don’t have a balance on a card, that’s great, but do not close the card out. And don’t rely on just credit cards for a good FICO score. Different types of credit helps. Just be sure to pay on time with any other loans.
    • If you are unable to qualify for a normal credit card, a secured card is a decent option. You can also look into having someone close to you with good credit add you to his account as an authorized user.
  8. Credit Sesame offers a thorough overview on secured credit cards in Build Your Credit With a Secured Credit Card. This is an accepted credit building tool for many, and this article covers all the basics well, from what a secured card is and where to get one, to what it will cost and how it works.
  9. On the Simple Dollar, Trent Ham gives students some good tips in How to Safely Build Your Credit History. He counsels you on getting a card and using it wisely for specific purchases, such as textbooks. It’s essential that you pay on time and don’t use too much of your credit line. A good trick is to lock your card up so you’re not tempted to use it rashly. Once you’ve established that you can be dependable with credit, venture into other types of credit like a car loan.
  10. In How to build credit if you have a small income, nerdwallet’s Lindsay Konsko assures you of your ability to have good credit even if you don’t have a fat wallet. Even with a small income, you can follow all the tips and guidelines for most consumers who are working on building a good credit history. The key is living within your means and paying all of your bills responsibly.

Before moving on to the final selection in our “Tips and Info from the Experts” series, we suggest that you make sure you haven’t missed any valuable information in the series:


Advice on Credit Building CREDIT CARD HIGHLIGHT!

Don’t risk damaging an important aspect of your credit used to determine your FICO score.If you’re repairing your credit history, don’t miss You Can Use Credit Cards To Rebuild Credit But Watch Your Debt to Credit Ratio.

  • Learn what “debt to credit ratio” is.
  • Understand how these numbers are calculated.
  • See how this information is shown on your credit report.

We now invite you to enjoy the last article: Quotes for Education and Fun.

About the Author

Elizabeth Boyd is a financial writer and paralegal. She has written extensively for the financial and credit card market for several years and feels strongly about making consumers aware of their choices and rights.

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