Life Is Tough When Your Credit Score Stinks, So Set’s Fix It

Whether it was a foreclosure, short sale, deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, a job loss or just plain irresponsibility, there are some steps you can take to get your credit score back into the range where it is attractive to mortgage lenders and you can finally buy that house.

Where does my credit score come from?

Credit scores range from 300 (the worst) to 850. Although a score of 700 will get you lower rates and more credit opportunities than lower scores, 760 and above is considered prime.

If you’ve ever ordered your credit report you did so from one or all of what are commonly known as “the big three” credit reporting agencies: Experian, Trans-Union and Equi-fax.

These agencies compile massive amounts of financial information obtained from companies from which Americans have obtained credit in the past. From this, they determine each person’s payment history, the length of the person’s credit history, the various types of credit he or she has and the amount of credit debt held.

When the big three agencies turn their information over to Fair Isaac Corporation (F.I.C.O.) or, in some cases, Vantage, it’s fed into a complicated formula and out pops a three-digit number that pretty much rules your financial life. Thankfully, your credit score adjusts, according to how risky you appear.

Pay on time

The best way to repair your credit score is by paying your bills on time, every month. Yes, it sounds simple and it is the responsible thing to do, but it’s also one of the quickest ways to pump your score into a more acceptable range. Don’t believe us? According to a study conducted by Experian,100 percent of super prime consumers and 97 percent of those with prime credit have no late payments on their credit reports.

Furthermore, The Raleigh Area Development Authority says that a person with a 707 credit score can raise it 20 points, just by paying bills on time for one month.

Manage the plastic

credit score

Your use of credit cards may be the culprit when your score is at rock bottom.

First, credit scoring agencies look at the age of your credit. New credit, such as opening new credit card or department store accounts, makes them leery. Just what will you do with all this new-found credit? Since they don’t know, you become a higher credit risk and take a 10 point ding on your score.

High balances make you appear risky as well. If your cards are maxed out you may lose up to 70 points on your credit score.

Don’t close your credit card accounts, just pay them on time. Consumers with no credit cards or installment loans look risky (it’s that fear of the unknown again) and tend to be penalized with lower scores. Besides, closed accounts still show up on your credit reports and may still affect your score.

If you have the money in your budget, another quick way to raise your score is to pay down high credit card balances. Try doubling your payments for a few months or at least pay a payment and a half.

If you build it, you can buy it

Many Americans didn’t do anything to deserve a low score other than to have never used credit. To credit scoring agencies, these people are, again, unknown entities. How they will use credit when they receive it is a mystery and therefore makes them a credit risk in the eyes of the agencies.

Unlike the folks that need to slow down on their credit card usage, you need to obtain a card, use it and pay the balance on time. Ensure that you obtain a card from an institution that will report your responsible use of credit.

To make it easy on you, we’ve compiled this handy, fix-your-credit checklist:

- Order your credit reports from each of the big three agencies to determine where you stand

- Dispute any errors you find on your credit report. Some shady credit counseling companies may suggest you dispute everything on the reports, which may do way more harm than good. The Federal Trade Commission offers advice on how to file disputes on its website.

- Pay all your bills on time, every month

- Pay down your credit card balances. If you can only afford to pay one at a time, pay department store cards first, if you have them, otherwise, pay off the one with the highest balance first. Aim to get the balances within 30 percent of your credit limit.

- Use old credit cards that you haven’t used lately to keep their histories active. Remember, old credit is worth more than new credit when it comes to your score.

- Obtain a secured credit card if you have no credit history. Use the card for small purchases and pay the balance on or before the due date.

- Consider obtaining a small loan if your credit report lacks an installment loan history. Ensure that the lender reports to all three agencies.

- Ask creditors to re-age your accounts. This might be challenging but if even one creditor agrees to do so your score may improve dramatically.

Ask the credit card companies to increase your credit limit

Rebuild & Keep Good Credit Ratings by Understanding Your Credit Cards

Secured Credit Card is similar to a prepaid credit card since the funds you are using are actually yours and not the issuer of the credit card. Generally people who apply for secured credit card or prepaid credit card are people with poor credit or unemployed. Prepaid Credit Card spending limit is the amount of money you loaded to the card. There are no interest or finance charges on a prepaid card. With secured credit card, your credit line could be from 50% to 100% of your deposit depending on the institution giving you the secured credit. Therefore the company giving you the secured credit card has zero risk.

Secured credit card can be very beneficial because it gives you an opportunity to rebuild your credit history and you are able to make purchases just as if you had an unsecured credit card. Many companies require that you have a credit card to make purchases, such as car rental, airline tickets, etc. Ensure that the company issuing the secured credit, routinely reports customers’ payment history to any of the three main credit bureaus namely Experian, Equifax and Trans Union. This reporting to the credit bureaus will rebuild your credit history over time.

Closing unnecessary accounts and consolidating your bills to make payments more manageable could be an advantage financially. By not applying for too much credit within a short period of time is another factor that will help in rebuilding your credit rating. Additionally, even though secured credit is like prepaid cards, they do have certain fees attached.
Benefits are similar to that of an unsecured credit card, such as usually being paid interest on your balance in the bank, using Automated Teller Machines (ATM) to make deposits, withdrawals, and making purchases at participating merchants. Following the above steps will strengthen your credit rating.

Unsecured Credit Cards are issued to individuals with good to excellent credit rating. Credit ratings depend on certain criteria, such as one’s ability to repay loans. These criteria include payment history, employment history, and financial stability. Individuals with excellent credit will most likely receive a lower interest rate. A major factor in maintaining excellent credit is making your loan payments on time thus avoiding late fee penalties.

Customers should read the credit agreement to ensure that they understand their obligation to the creditor. Making payments on time will strengthen your credit rating. Unsecured credit cards has numerous advantages such as low interest rates, high credit limit, business name options, no annual fees, and low APRs on balance transfers up to 12 months. Closing unnecessary accounts and consolidating your bills to make payments more manageable could be an advantage financially. By not applying for too much credit within a short period of time is another factor that will help in maintaining a good credit rating.

Rebuilding your credit takes time, patience, and consistency. If you consistently pay your bills on time, you will see an improvement in your credit ratings over time. There are no quick fixes for improving your credit report except for mistakes or inaccuracies that can be corrected, hopefully in your favor. Your credit information is maintained by the credit bureaus namely Experience, Equifax, and Trans Union for seven years. Therefore poor credit information will remain on your report for seven years. The good thing is that as negative information disappears with positive information, this will definitely rebuild your credit rating.

Applying for secured credit card can be very beneficial because it gives you an opportunity to rebuild your credit history, and you are able to make purchases just as if you had an unsecured credit card. Many companies require that you have a credit card to make purchases, such as car rental, airline tickets, etc. Ensure that the company issuing the secured credit, routinely reports customers’ payment history to any of the three main credit bureaus namely Experience, Equifax and Trans Union. This reporting to the credit bureaus will rebuild your credit history over time.

Business Credit Card
Business credit cards are very popular for small business owners because of the many benefits they offer. Benefits includes 0% Intro APR on balance transfers, no annual fees, high credit limit, low interest rates, cash rewards, bonus miles, free online account management to choosing card design etc., At iCreditOnline.com we have some of the best business credit cards from American Express, Advantage, Chase, Bank One, Bank of America, Discover, Citibank, Household Bank and more, with online credit card approval. Why waste time going to a bank when you can get a decision in less than 60 seconds with secure online credit card application. Online Credit Card Approval with Online Credit Card Application is fast and easy!

Student Credit Card

Having a student credit card while still living at home or attending school away from home can be an advantage. It gives the student the opportunity to establish credit at an early age and to start asserting their independence. It comes in handy in case of emergency, it is less trouble and safer to carry a student credit card than to carry cash. Parents find student credit cards to be very convenient. They are able to make deposits to their children’s account while they are away from home. Students should be careful with their credit card receipts to avoid identity thief.

If you consistently pay your bills on time, obtaining students credit cards is a good way to established credit rating and start building a good credit history while in school. Establishing and maintaining a good credit rating will make it easy to purchase a car, a home or obtaining a personal loan in the future. For students who are not committed to their financial obligation, getting a student credit card is not a good idea. Running up balances, finding yourself in debt, unable to make monthly payments will destroy your credit rating.

Student’s credit cards generally have high interest rates. At iCreditOnline.com we offer some of the best student credit cards from Chase and Discover with 0% APR introductory rate for 6 months, no annual fees and online account access. Online credit card approval with online credit card application is fast and easy!

Explanation of some of the credit cards we offer:

0% Intro APR Credit Card or Balance Transfer Credit Card gives you the benefit of using this credit card without making any interest payment on the principal for a stated period of time. This credit card is marketed to individuals with good credit rating who want to transfer balance from a high interest credit card to a 0% intro APR credit card.

Cash Rewards or Cash Back Credit Card earns a percentage on purchases made. This reward or cash back is credited to your account.

Debit Card takes the place of carrying a checkbook or cash. This card is used like a credit card with certain limitations, such as not being able to rent a car. Purchase transactions are contingent upon having enough funds in your checking or savings account to cover the purchase. Verification of funds requires entering your Personal Identification Number (PIN) at a point-of-sale terminal.

Low interest credit card saves you money. Having a good credit rating qualifies you for some of the best low APR credit card offers.

Prepaid Credit Card spending limit is the amount of money you loaded to the card. There are no interest or finance charges on a prepaid card. Therefore the company giving you the prepaid credit card has zero risk. Generally people who apply for prepaid credit card are people with poor credit or unemployed.

Secured Credit Card is secured by the amount of funds you have in your account. Your credit line could be from 50% to 100% of your deposit depending on the institution giving you the secured credit.

Unsecured Credit Card is issued to individuals with good to excellent credit rating. Credit ratings depend on certain criteria, such as one’s ability to repay loans. These criteria include payment history, employment history, and financial stability. Individuals with excellent credit will most likely receive a lower interest rate and can receive instant online credit card approval. A major factor in maintaining excellent credit is making your loan payments on time thus avoiding late fee penalties.

Travel Rewards Credit Card benefits may include travel accident insurance, free rental car collision/loss damage insurance, rebate on gasoline purchases, frequent flyer points or bonus miles towards airline flights, free quarterly and annual account summaries.