By Ryan Velez
A bad credit score is a massive financial headache that may affect you in ways that you may not realize at first. Whether you are trying to buy a home, finance a car, or get your business off the ground, a bad credit score will make things that much difficult. Because of this, there is a lot of misinformation and bad advice out there promising credit relief. A recent Black Enterprise article shares some tips that may not equal instant credit solutions, but will set you in the right direction.
For one, you want to get a proper lay of the land when it comes to your credit, and that means getting regular credit reports. Speaker, author, business coach and 10-year real estate wealth strategist Danielle Pierce recommends getting copies of your report once a year from www.annualcreditreport.com. If you do see errors in these online reports, try to avoid disputing them or firing off a bunch of disputes to the respective credit bureaus. The reason for this is that if you don’t send things separately and with detail, they are likely to get marked as “frivolous.”
Sometimes, what was once a good idea may not be now. Pierce recommends keeping your credit utilization percentage at 10%, which may be a bit surprising if you recall that it was recommended to be 30% a short time ago. “But, to get in that super, high-achievers club, 10% is the new standard. This means that if your total credit card limits are $10,000, your balance should never exceed $1,000,” Pierce explains.
When it comes to getting your credit right, you shouldn’t be afraid to use every resource at your disposal. A great asset is a credit union, but if you want to sign up for one, be sure to do so with a long-term relationship in mind. After all, once you join a credit union, you are now a member/part-owner of the credit union. Being part of a credit union can mean lower rates on credit cards, auto loans, home loans, and many other products. In addition, if you have charged off accounts and/or past due accounts that you are thinking of paying off, be sure to bring a trusted credit professional into the mix. Paying off a collection account won’t necessarily remove it automatically, and may even lower your score.
Note that these methods take time, and don’t be surprised if it takes 180 days before you see results. Being patient and proactive is the way to go.