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| Education and Financial

02/16/14

Digging out: Raising your credit score hardly impossible

Staring blankly at a low credit score sends a feeling through your entire body that can be described as equal parts fear and deflation, knowing that those three numbers might prevent you from getting the car you want, buying the house you adore or owning even one credit card.
No matter how your score took a terrific dip, whether you missed a few payments while you were in between jobs or failed to monitor your debt to income ratio for years, the important aspect of fixing your credit woes is to leave your past misgivings and moving toward a solution.
If that means putting an end to silly shopping sprees or making more than the minimum payment on your credit card statement, your credit score can soar once again. For example, making only the minimum payment not only will prolong your debt but give creditors the belief that you're incapable of paying above and beyond the norm.
That isn't necessarily a bad thing for the credit card company per say, but they'll keep an eye on whether you're making that $5 minimum payment or at least throwing a few extra dollars into the equation.
Of course, the minimum payment certainly is better than not making them at all.

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When things become incredibly bleak, you may want to consider hiring a consolidation company to get you back on track. This won't hurt your credit, despite what some may suggest. It's a lateral move and one that can, at the very least, combine your debt into one, easy payment per month.
Naturally, you want to start with the credit cards that carry the most interest, like the one you simply had to had from that clothing retailer. Those credit cards easily rank as the worst, given their high interest rates and lack of promotional acumen, such as points earned for items, products or vacation miles.
Having a credit card isn't a bad thing, either. But if you want to help your credit, you should learn to pump the proverbial brakes when it comes to applying for every credit card you can get your hands on, no matter if its for clothing, shoes, home improvement or furniture. Just because a store has a credit card doesn't mean you need it, even if they promise to give you no interest or a percentage off your price.
That savvy marketing sounds too good to be true. And, it is.
Think practically and prudently when applying for credit or making your next purchase. If you can't afford to pay cash, skip it. If you do need a credit card, use it for emergencies and pay off that balance within 30 days or when the first bill comes in the mail or to you via email.
Those practices will put you in control of your credit and take that three digit number in only one direction: up.

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