If you have bad credit, then you know how tough it can be. Bad credit makes many things difficult, impossible, or more expensive. We all know that banks check credit scores before they give you a credit card or a loan. That means the process of buying a house or car is more difficult when you have bad credit. Even renting an apartment is tough without a good credit score. Insurance companies often charge a higher rate for drivers that have bad credit scores. Utility service providers check your credit to decide whether you should pay a security deposit. As years go by, the list of companies who check your credit will probably grow instead of shrink.
When a creditor reviews your application for a loan or credit card, they’ll check both your credit report and credit score to determine your creditworthiness. Based on that and other financial information, they’ll decide if you qualify for a loan or card. If you do, you’ll receive a higher interest rate if you have poor credit because they think you pose more of a risk of defaulting on your payments if you have a rocky financial past.
New credit tips: Note that it’s OK to request and check your own credit report: this won’t affect a score, as long as you order your credit report directly from the credit reporting agency or through an organization authorized to provide credit reports to consumers.
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Even if you eventually catch up on what you owe, any payment that is more than 30 days late can appear on your credit report. However, some creditors don’t report the past due payment until a second payment is owed because they don’t want to upset good customers who simply forgot to the deadline and made it up the following month. Credit reporting rules do require that after a second payment is missed, all past due payments must be reported. Late payments or delinquent accounts may be reported for up to seven years after the date of the last scheduled payment.
Quick Loan Shopping – If you have bad credit and can’t find any other way to improve your score, you could consider taking a “quick loan.” These are typically loans for small amounts — $250 to $1,000 — that get repayment history reported to credit agencies, and can become a positive on your credit report. This is a last resort. See If You Qualify for a 0% Interest Card – Several companies offer cards with 0% interest on balances, but there are caveats to this. There can be a fee for transferring the balance and the zero-percent offer is only good for an introductory period, typically 12-18 months. It usually takes a very good credit score to qualify for one of these.