Deal With Bad Credit
One late or missed payment to a utility or child support enforcement agency, for instance, may put your credit standing at risk. If you have done all you can do to prevent financial problems from becoming serious, then you need to know how to deal with bad credit. Bad credit follows you relentlessly, and puts roadblocks in your way when you need to make payments on a large dental bill, or obtain a loan to make repairs on your house.
There is no quick fix, but there are steps you can take to start repairing your credit. First, obtain a copy of your credit report from each of the major credit bureaus. Next, dispute any errors or inaccurate items in the report. These same credit bureaus, as well as other organizations online, provide information on this process. The Fair Credit Reporting Act explains your legal rights in these matters.
Start the Road Back to Good Credit
One option to start dealing with bad credit is to get a friend or family member who has good credit to co-sign for a loan or credit card. Still another way to go is to obtain a secured credit card, in which you deposit money into a savings account to guarantee you can cover any charges to your card. In either case, make a small charge, and pay off the full amount every month. Repeating this over time will indicate your dedication to re-establishing your good credit.
Some credit cards from retail stores or gas companies are easier to obtain. They are, however, just as important in building a consistent payment history. Above all, pay off your balances in full every month, and maintain your credit card balance below 30% of your maximum credit line. Most important, live within your means. Credit tends to lull us into thinking we have more money than we do.