Whenever you apply for credit or a loan, the lender will first check your credit report to see what kind of score you have. This report gives a listing of all your bills and whether or not you have been diligent in making your monthly payments on time. If there are any negative points on this report, such as missed payments, applying for credit too often, or judgment or bankruptcy issues, you will have a difficult time obtaining the money you need because of poor credit. It is in your best interest to always maintain a good credit rating because it will have a serious impact on your ability to obtain credit in the future.
Your credit report is almost like a report card for lenders. Through the score you have lenders determine your likelihood to repay any money that you borrow. It is of utmost importance to always make your payments by the due date specified on your statement or on you loan agreement. Even if you have been negligent in this respect in the past, you can start improving your credit by making a concerted effort to make your payments. You wont see a dramatic increase in your score immediately, but after six months or so, you should start to see it rise.
You are entitled to receive a free copy of your credit report. You should utilize this right to keep a check on your rating and to make sure that you have not become the victim of a scam or a fraud. Always scrutinize your report to make sure that all the listed accounts actually refer to your financial situation. If there are any items listed that you are doubtful about, contact the credit agency to receive further information. There have been many incidences where people have negative items on their credit that they did not initiate through fraudulent loans and purchases made in their names.
If you have poor credit, you might want to consider taking out a consolidation loan to pay off all your debts. Then you only have one payment to look after each month. You can save money in this way as well because the payment is usually a lot less than the amount you are currently paying with all of your bills. You can also take out a bad credit loan or a credit card. Even though you will have to pay a higher rate of interest on this loan, by making your payments on time, you can slowly start to rebuild your credit.
One of the best ways to improve your credit is to try and pay off your debts. You can start doing this by paying more than you need for your minimum payment. The amount will apply to your unpaid balance and thus reduce the amount of interest you have to pay next month. It is very surprising how increasing your payment by only a small amount will help bring down the balance. The best way to start is to begin with the debt with the lowest balance because it will be easier to pay this one off quickly. Then when you do have it paid off, add the amount you were paying to the payment for the debt with the next highest balance. It wont be long before you see an increase in your credit rating as you pay off your bills.
There are many scams that advertise ways to improve your credit that will actually increase your debt putting you in further financial difficulty. Such services charge you a fee and may only offer advice as to methods you can use for repairing bad credit. You will only get information that you already have and will be out money.
There are promotions by credit card companies, though, that can help you improve your credit. By taking advantage of an offer of 0% interest to transfer your balances to a new credit card, you have an opportunity to combine all your debts into one balance with one payment. The added advantage is that because you wont be paying any interest charges at all fro an introductory period, you have a chance to pay off more of the unpaid balance. If you can manage it at all, you can actually make a payment that is equal to the combined payments you were paying separately this reducing the unpaid balance rather quickly. Since there is no interest coming out of this payment, everything you pay will be applied to the balance.
When lenders obtain a copy of your credit report and see that you have combined all your bills on one credit card or in a debt consolidation loan, this is a point in your favor. This shows then that you are making an effort to improve your credit by taking necessary steps to improve your financial situation.