There’s no doubt that credit is an important part of your life, whether you’re making the next big purchase or simply getting by during an emergency. It can also be a complicated system that
many people don’t understand well, which makes it all too easy for things to go wrong with your
credit score. But rest assured, there are plenty of ways to recover from bad credit and get back
on track. Here are some simple tips for doing just that:
Check Your Credit Score and Report
You should check your credit score and report at least once a year. This can be done by contacting the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. While it’s possible to access your information for free at AnnualCreditReport.com, you will not be able to see your credit score unless you pay for it — this is because credit scores are sold as a subscription service from the various organizations that create them (like FICO).
Pay Down Your Balances
Paying down your debt is the quickest way to improve your credit score. The longer you have a debt, the more damage it does to your score. In other words, even if you have a small balance on one card and a much larger one on another, it’s best to pay off the smaller one first because it will have less of an impact on your overall credit profile than the larger balance would.
However, there is one caveat: if you have more than $10k in unsecured debt (e.g., credit cards), then paying off all of that debt may not be possible—especially if some of those debts are at high-interest rates, or if they’re relatively new accounts with limited payment history. In this case, focus on paying down balances with higher interest rates first before starting on lower-rate balances with longer histories.
Pay More Than the Minimum Balance
Paying more than the minimum payment will help to reduce the interest you pay, which can save you hundreds of dollars in interest over time. It also reduces your debt faster, which means that as soon as you’re done paying off one credit card, it will be easier to start paying off another one.
Don’t Close Old Credit Cards
If you have an older card that has been in good standing for a long time, don’t close it unless
you’re planning to pay off the balance on another card. If you have more than one open account
and one needs closing, choose wisely—the best choice is usually the newest account (with a
lower interest rate).
Pay Bills on Time and in Full
This is the most basic, yet one of the most important steps to improving your credit score. If you
aren’t paying bills on time or fully, you could be hurting your credit score. If you can’t pay it off in
full, try to make at least the minimum payment before it’s due. You may want to pay more than
that if possible so that you won’t incur late fees (which will also damage your score) as well.
You don’t have to put your life on hold while you rebuild your credit score. At Breeze Lease, we
offer lease-purchase solutions, even with bad or no credit! Check out our credit solutions, or
contact us to learn more.