Four Musts to Rebuild Your Credit

Now that we’re in the holiday shopping months, many people are looking for ways to afford all of the things they want to buy their friends and family. Some will choose to put a ton of it on their credit cards and worry about the bills during the New Year. Others won’t even have the opportunity to do this as they have maxed out their current credit or can’t get credit for whatever reason. The end of the year is a good time to take inventory of your credit situation to make changes and improve your outlook for the next year.

Here, then, are four musts to rebuild your credit:

Get a free credit report

Each year, you’re eligible to receive a free credit report from the major credit reporting agencies. Take advantage of this free service. Oftentimes, you’ll find errors and other things on these reports that are negatively affecting your credit. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to credit. Make note of those errors and take action to resolve these red marks, so you can slowly rebuild your credit.

Pay Your Bills on Time

Being late on your credit card or utility bills is a surefire way to earn fees and a lower credit score. Luckily, it’s never been easier to pay your bills on time. Go paperless and pay all of your bills online if you can. We offer Bill Payment, which connects your personal bank account with your credit card/utility account. You can have the money automatically deducted from your account or sign up for reminders to ensure you know what’s due where and when.

Create a budget

If you’re putting all of your Christmas gifts on your cards this year, step away from your cards immediately. One of the top things that can adversely affect your credit is having a too high debt to credit ratio. Therefore, to make sure you’re paying down more than you’re charging, it’s a good idea to create a budget, using a free software program or simple Excel sheet. By knowing where you need to spend your money, you can avoid surprises and curb any bad habits.

Get a Secured Credit Card

Getting credit can be extremely difficult if you have had past issues. Unfortunately, you need credit to improve your score. To challenge this paradox, it might make sense to obtain a secured credit card, which can help you rebuild your credit. A secure credit card works just like a regular credit card, but you just need a cash security deposit to establish your credit limit. Transactions and payment activity are reported to the major credit reporting agencies, so you can establish a healthy credit history.

Teri Williams

Teri Williams is President and serves on the Board of Directors of OneUnited Bank. She is responsible for implementation of the Bank’s strategic initiatives, as well as the day to day operations of the bank. These operational areas include all retail branches, marketing, compliance, lending, information technology, customer support, legal, and human resources.

    I would to challenge my self to be a good stewart over my finances.
    January 7, 2014 Reply
  • Eboni
    Thanks for the tips. I am trying to get my credit core back up and pay off all credit cards.
    January 8, 2014 Reply

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