Posted by Ryan Blay on September 6th, 2011 in Life After Bankruptcy, Uncategorized
We’ve consulted with thousands of people who often ask us a version of the same question: “How do I improve my credit?” Whether you are coming out of bankruptcy, in foreclosure, or just a typical consumer, there are several easy steps you can take, as seen on sites such as this, to improve that all-important credit score.
1. Fix your payment history by paying as many bills as possible on time, responding immediately to collection agencies when they call or write about a debt, and paying certain debts in full so they no longer have a balance owed.
2. Avoid excessive balances on credit cards and loans that are simply too expensive (or have too high an interest rate) to repay in full. That includes loans for furniture and other items where “no money down!” is promised, but interest rates immediately become outrageous the moment the promotional period ends.
3. If you have a credit or charge card you pay every month on time, keep it open. Positive payments are your friends. Also, start early if you can by taking out very small limits on credit cards when you are young (but not going overboard with using them) to establish a good history from an early age.
4. Check your credit report periodically (our firm recommends Annual Credit Report because it is free) and avoid paying to view the reports. There is no need to pay $20 per month or more for a company to “monitor” your credit report and send you the same reports you can get for no cost every year.
The bottom line is that credit is a statistic, a figure or number you can help manipulate and stay strong to help you when you need it. Beyond the obvious advice to pay everything on time, you can manage which debts are outstanding, which are closed and which carry large balances to be a smarter, strong consumer. For more information, contact Lakelaw at 866-LAKELAW ((262) 694-7300 in Wisconsin), or a trusted financial advisor.