Managing your credit takes constant upkeep, but getting – and keeping – your credit in order can benefit your life in ways you may not have stopped to think about.
What is Credit Used For?
As an adult, nearly every major purchase we make is based on credit. No house, car, furniture, or appliance is easy to pay for outright, and this is where it’s handy to have some credit.
Without good credit, it can be hard to qualify for a credit card with a store, or major card company. If you do, it’s usually at an incredibly high interest rate. But did you know there are others things impacted by your low score?
For instance, not only will it be more difficult to finance a vehicle, once you do, it can be more expensive to insure that vehicle. Studies have shown that people with poor credit scores tend to file more insurance claims, so companies compensate for that with higher prices.
Another scary fact: bad credit could cause you to be passed over for employment opportunities. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allows potential employers the right to check your credit with your express consent. If someone is passed over for a job based on credit, the FCRA states that the employer must provide you with a copy of your report, and give you an official report for their reason to not hire you. Some states, however, have banned the practice of using credit reports during hiring.
How Can I Get My Credit Back on Track?
The good news is that your credit can always be improved. It takes time and effort, but there are some pretty simple steps that can help you get started:
- Make all your payments on time. This is the easiest way to begin building a better credit score because payment history accounts for 35 percent of your credit score – the most of any one factor.
- Keep your credit card balances low. The second biggest factor in your credit score is the amount you owe, or credit utilization. This makes up 30 percent of your credit score, and lenders like to see a person’s utilization at 30 percent of their available credit or below. Keeping high credit card balances can quickly bring down your score.
- Know what’s on your credit reports. A great way to begin fixing your overall credit is to know exactly what lenders see when they look at your credit profile. There are plenty of ways you can get your credit reports for free. In fact, you’re entitled to one complimentary copy from each of the three credit bureaus every 12 months. You can get them by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com. Once you get your reports, you can check them for accuracy and alert the reporting bureau if there is any incorrect information which may be impacting your score.
- Get a secured credit card. If poor credit scores are making it difficult to get credit, try starting off with a secured credit card. With this type of card, you’re required to put down a deposit in an account, which becomes your balance. As you continue to use this card and make your payments on time, you should eventually begin to see the positive impact in your credit score.
These are just some of the ways you can improve your credit, but once you do, the changes will be evident.
Another Credit Building Option
Another great option for building your credit is an auto loan. If you’re in need of a vehicle and a boost to your credit, Drivers Lane wants to help you! We can guide you toward a local special finance dealer from the nationwide network of dealers we work with.
These dealers have access to lenders that specialize in assisting people who’ve had credit trouble, such as bad credit, no credit, and even bankruptcy. So what’re you waiting for? Get started today! Our quick and easy auto loan request form is simple to fill out, and it’s always free of cost.