The most important way to start rebuilding your credit is to pay your debt off on time every month. If you have are in a really bad situation and have just filed for bankruptcy then you may have trouble getting a credit card from anyone, but you do still have some options.
1. Most importantly, don’t miss any payments! Time is the most important factor when trying to improve your score so you can’t miss even one payment for a long time if you want to improve your score.
2. Also don’t send out too many different loan applications in a short span of time, this will make it look like you are opening more credit accounts than you can afford to pay back. When a company checks your rating as a result of an application for a loan, this is called a “hard” inquiry, however if you are checking your own credit score this is called a “Soft” inquiry and does not negatively effect your rating. Try to avoid a lot hard inquiries by applying for too many credit cards or loans within a short period of time.
3. The next thing you can do is to try to pay any credit cards or loans down to less than half of the maximum amount of money allowed, for example: if you have a credit card with a $1000 limit then try to pay it down to $500 or less and keep it below that level.
4. It can also help to keep the loan or credit card account which you’ve had for the longest period of time open, this will give you a longer history with one company, which is a good thing in the eyes of a lender.
5. If you find yourself in a situation where you know that you will not be able to make a payment on time, the first thing you should do is talk to your creditor and let them know. When you talk to them, they will want estimation on when you will be able to make the payment. Banks and credit card companies are generally fairly understanding as long as you communicate with them. As long as your payment doesn’t end up being months overdue, a simple phone call may actually keep you from getting a negative mark on your credit score.
6. Take advantage of free credit counseling in your area. There are many non-profit orginizations that will help you improve your financial situation for free, why not use them?
7. What if I can’t get a credit card?
If you are in a situation where no one will take a chance on giving you a loan, what do you do? One strategy that you can use is to get a secured credit card. You mostly likely won’t be turned down for this type of credit card because in this case, you are paying for the credit in advance. In a way you are giving them a security deposit in order to use the card. This means that the credit card company already has the full amount that you may owe them, and in return you have a credit card that you can use to carry a balance and make regular on-time payments. This way you can begin to repair your credit in a way that is risk free to the lender.