Those with a low credit score can have a tough time getting a loan or credit card. Bad credit can also affect your ability to rent or buy housing, as well as your job prospects. The good news is, there are lenders who specialize in loans to those with less than perfect credit. The bad news is that higher interest rates await those with bad credit. If you have a low credit score and want to take out a loan, it's worth boosting your credit rating before applying. You can enlist the aid of a credit repair service that can help you improve your credit score and get back into the game. It's also worthwhile to analyze the reasons you have a lower credit score than you'd like. Here are four key areas to consider in your quest to improve your FICO score.
What's in Your Credit Report
Have you had a look at your credit report recently? Do you know your credit score? If not, it's time to take advantage of your right to view a free copy of your credit report. Consumers are entitled to a free credit report each calendar year. You'll then know what potential lenders see, including your credit score. If there are any fraudulent activities or errors on your report, either you or a credit repair agency can file a dispute.
Make Timely Payments
Paying your bills on time helps your credit score. Create a schedule of your monthly payments and their due dates. Setting up automatic payments helps if you are prone to missing payments. You can also make small payments on a frequent basis, managing cash flow and improving your score.
Use of Available Credit
If you max out your credit card, spending up to the available credit limit, it has a negative impact on your credit score. Experts recommend your credit utilization ratio be 30% or less, and indeed that 10% or less is ideal. Even if you pay your balance on a monthly basis, charging more than 30% of your credit limit has a bad effect on your score.
Closing Credit Accounts
Have you closed any credit card accounts recently, perhaps a card you stopped using? Your credit score takes a hit when you close accounts. Even with a card you rarely use, it's best to keep the account open. An open account with small payments over time looks good and raises your credit score.
Top Credit Repair Services
Highly rated Sky Blue Credit Repair gets an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and has a great track record of success.. They offer free consultation to get started and a 50% couples discount. Customers must pay an additional outside fee to provide credit reports to Sky Blue, which can add up.
Lexington Law credit repair maintains a team of attorneys and paralegals on staff to go to bat for you. While they are slow to respond to emails, they also offer online chat and are one of the best in the business when it comes to producing results.
Deciding on a Credit Repair Company
Check the pros and cons of each credit repair specialist under consideration before deciding. Look for agencies enjoying a good rating from the BBB. You want to be sure you'll have good customer support via either phone or email. Review all fees and costs up front before signing up. Keep these points in mind and you can choose the best credit repair agency for you with confidence.