When good people have bad credit
Fact: good people often have bad credit. They are not mutually exclusive.
Maybe you didn’t fully understand some of the ramifications of some of your spending decisions. Maybe you’ve suffered through a bad relationship breakup, that has rendered unfortunately negative effects on your credit. Maybe you lost your job for a period of time, and wanted to pay your bills on time- but just couldn’t.
No judgement here.
Real life is about real issues. The kind where life throws you a curveball- you manage and you come out the other side, better for it. Whatever situation you endured, things are looking up. You’re gainfully employed, you’ve got some savings in the bank and things are looking up.
However, despite the best intentions in your present, your credit past can stick around to haunt you for some time. Here’s what you can do today to get your credit in shape for tomorrow.
Know what you’re dealing with
When’s the last time you checked out your credit report? Maybe it isn’t as bad as you think- or maybe it’s worse.
Either way, knowing what you’re up against is your first step towards righting the wrongs of your credit past. You can access your credit report for free from Equifax or TransUnion.
Is it accurate?
Mistakes do happen. Do you have the same name as someone else? Are you paying for their credit sins? Is the lender in question accurate in their reporting? Perhaps you’re a victim of identity theft?
Bottom line, the sooner you are able to identify discrepancies, the more quickly you’ll be able to correct them and get back on track. If you let things linger, it becomes more difficult.
Build from the ground up
Get yourself a small balance limit credit card. Realize that if your credit is in bad shape, you may have to secure the card with cash or another asset.
Get this card with the sole purpose of rebuilding your credit. You will make small purchases and then pay them off in full every month. It’s about showing lenders that you’ve got the behaviour in place to be a good credit risk.
Other than that credit card, live a cash lifestyle. You’ll have more control over your spending. Generating and carrying a credit balance will create unnecessary risk towards reestablishing good credit- and you may find yourself further back then when you started.