Getting your financial life and credit back on track after going through tough times is not an impossible task, by any means, but it does require an effective and proven plan.
Whether you have filed for bankruptcy, gone through foreclosure, experienced late payments, collections, judgments, repossession or the dreaded tax lien, there is hope.
Now, first of all don’t believe for a second that there’s nothing you can do about your past negative credit history because there is, which I will cover shortly.
First, let’s talk about getting new credit regardless of how low your credit score is. The obvious is to open up a secured credit card right?
Well, not exactly.
The key is to establish at least 3 positive trades actively reporting on each of your reports with Equifax, Transunion, and Experian. Actively reporting means you’re making regular payments; a loan that’s paid off does not count.
For example, if you’re currently making timely payments on a car note but have no other positive credit that’s active then you should obtain two secured credit cards and use them regularly.
Keep your debt to credit limit ratios on those cards at no more than 30% and whenever possible increase your limits. The higher the limit the better it is for you in the future when a creditor extends an unsecured credit line to you.
But before you go and open up 2-3 secured credit cards you must select the right lenders too! Did you know some of the high risk lenders offering secured cards can actually end up hurting you rather than helping you?
Think about this for a second, if you obtain a secured card from a high risk lender what does this tell other lenders about you? It shows you are a high risk!
So, promise me you’ll only open a secured card from a mainstream lender OK?
Now keep in mind, opening up a few secured credit cards, making purchases, and paying bills on time is a step in the right direction, but it does not address the current problem; your credit reports.
Before we dive into repairing your credit reports, by law you are entitled to receive one free credit report from each of the major consumer credit agencies every 12 months. You should first obtain your free reports at annualcreditreport.com so you can review it in its entirety.
Remember, it does not have to take a long time to put your credit problems behind you. Once you begin establishing new positive payment history, maintain at least three actively reporting trades and begin repairing your credit reports, you can restore your good credit ratings and scores.
Stay tuned for the next post where we cover credit restoration and authorized user accounts.
Ready to repair, restore and reclaim your excellent credit scores? Submit your name and email below to receive my FREE course ‘7 Steps To Superior Credit‘ ($497 value) =>
Marco Carbajo is a business credit expert, author, speaker, and founder of the Business Credit Insiders Circle. He is a business credit blogger for AllBusiness, Dun and Bradstreet Credibility Corp, the SBA Community, and author of “Eight Steps to Ultimate Business Credit” and “How to Build Business Credit with No Personal Guarantee.” His articles and blogs have also been featured in American Express Small Business, Business Week, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Tribune, Scotsman Guide, Alltop, Entrepreneur Connect, and Active Rain.