You know, when your credit score is really bad, it can seem like there is no point whatsoever in trying to improve it. You know what I’m talking about, how many times have you or someone you know made the simple statement, “My credit score is so bad, I’ll never be able to buy a house (or a car, or anything else).” The truth is, it can be daunting when you think about clawing your way back up to a decent credit score, especially if you’re starting at the bottom of the credit pit. And sadly, that alone is enough justification for some people to just give up, accept that they will have damaged credit forever, and never do anything to change it. But it can be done.
That’s right, no matter where you are on the credit scale, you can claw your way back up to a good or even an excellent credit score, as long as you are determined to work on it. Note that I said determined and work. Regardless of what anyone tells you, improving your credit score will take a lot of determination, a lot of work, and a certain amount of time. But, if you never start the journey, then you will never get to the destination that you have in mind.
So where do you start?
First and perhaps foremost, you need to take the time to review your credit report, find out what your credit score is, and then make a plan for improving it. And, by simply using the technology at your fingertips, it’s really easy to get your credit score and your credit report at no cost, sign up for credit monitoring and protection, and keep a close eye on your progress. (Some scores are updated weekly, some monthly, and a few quarterly.) Once you know your credit score, depending on what range you fall into, you can start improving it by opening new accounts to increase available credit, paying down debts to get below the 30% credit utilization, or disputing things that are wrong on your credit report.
Now, if your credit score is really low, your choices will be limited when it comes to signing up for new (or even any) accounts. But, keep in mind that there are a lot of other people who are in the same boat that you’re in, so there are options to start rebuilding your credit. The most popular options are secured credit cards and catalog shopping cards, and there are companies that will work with you to make sure that you get the credit you need to start clawing your way back up the ladder… but, just like I mentioned in the beginning, if you don’t start, you’ll never get there.
Here are a couple of options to start rebuilding your credit today: