Thank you Lexington Law Firm for sponsoring this post. A high service partner and consumer advocate that will help you fight for the credit you deserve!
If your credit score is low, there are ways to bring it up. If you’re unsure of how to improve your credit score, you are not alone. I’ve personally been there and today I’m sharing six things that have helped me raise my credit score and what steps I’m taking next.
Twice in my life I’ve hit rock bottom and fought my way back, with regard to my credit score. I’ve learned the importance of having good credit, the hard way. Through self-education and a lot of trial and error, I managed to improve my credit score – not once – but twice. I know what it’s like to have a low FICO score and be deemed uncreditworthy, but I also know what it feels like to get approved for a loan. I much prefer the latter. I have devised a list of six things that helped me improve my credit score, as well as what I would have done differently and my next step.
The first time I struggled with bad credit was after my divorce. I was a young mom without a college degree and had never worked a full-time job. I lacked financial confidence and was ill-equipped to make good choices when it came to money. It didn’t help that I was making less than I needed to pay my bills.
The second time my credit score took a hit, was due to an extended illness. It’s crazy how quickly a person’s life can change. I went from having a terrific job and a high FICO score to being seriously ill, wheelchair bound and unable to take care of myself. Even with my 3-months of emergency savings, I was not financially prepared for this life-altering illness. My monthly disability payment was a fraction of my former pay, and was no match for the mountain of medical bills and delinquent payments I was facing.
Fast forward to today, I’m glad to report that my health, finances and credit score are all greatly improved. I still have some credit errors that need to be corrected, and I am working on savings. It has been a long road, but I’ve regained my financial confidence and am on my way to becoming a homeowner again – hopefully next year. I only wish I hadn’t waited so long to make the decision to seek professional credit repair help. It’s not too late though. I’m looking forward to my first consultation with Lexington Law Firm and will be sure to keep you updated on my credit repair journey. Lexington Law has been helping clients since 2004 and with their legally trained staff and technological resources they can advocate for consumer’s credit rights.
Things That Helped Me Improve My Credit Score
Set a goal and actionable steps to help you obtain that goal.
We all have dreams for the future, but it is important to define your goal clearly. A goal is the first step that sets you on a path. A goal should be realistic, achievable, specific and measurable. My goal is to become a homeowner again. To qualify for a mortgage at a low interest rate, I need to get my credit score above 740 and save enough for a down payment and closing costs. I’ve made this goal measurable by setting a timeline. Being self employed makes it a little trickier to qualify for a mortgage, so I hope to be in good enough financial shape to buy a home next year.
Take a close look at your credit report.
I know all too well how tempting it is to ignore something that is stressful, but knowledge is power. Get your credit report from all three of the credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Check each report for accuracy. Every year, families are denied mortgages and home buying loans because of their credit scores. Something as small as an inaccurate late payment or another critical mark from a credit reporter made in error, can impact your credit score in a way that does not accurately represent you. These types of errors can take months to correct and are consequently continuously negatively affecting Americans’ credit ratings – some can last up to 7 years.
Fix errors on your credit report.
I’ve had some success in having errors removed from my credit report, but this crucial step in credit repair has been a challenge. I think having Lexington Law Firm help me with this is an important next step in my credit repair journey. They believe that everyone has a right to a fair, accurate, and substantiated credit report. Lexington Law has long-standing relationships with all three of the credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, as well as a deep expertise in knowing how getting errors removed works, enabling the team to communicate more routinely and efficiently for their clients.
Stick to a budget.
If you want to save money and/or pay down debt, sticking to a budget is imperative. Try writing down everything you spend money on for a month – at least a two week period. I mean everything. Save your receipts and write down everything you spend in a journal, including your monthly bills and impulse purchases. Use this to figure out where you can cut back, and set a budget. I like to do both a monthly and annual budget. You may find that you need to budget by the week. Leave your credit cards at home, and try to resist impulse purchases.
Pay bills on time.
Paying your bills on time will go a long way in improving your credit score over time. Know when your bills are due and make a habit of paying them by the deadline.
Have a good debt-to-credit ratio.
FICO suggests that a good debt-to-credit ratio percentage is below 30%. I worked really hard to pay down my debt, but that alone wasn’t enough. I needed to establish new lines of credit to improve my debt-to-credit ratio. Since my credit score was so low, I had to start out with a secured credit card. After paying on-time for six months, I was granted an increased unsecured credit limit. I’ve since been able to get an unsecured credit card and have been granted an increase on that card. I use my credit cards, but make sure that I pay enough each month to carry a low balance. After establishing a good payment history with these cards, I have been able to get multiple installment loans which have further increased my credit score.
The next step in my credit repair journey…
I’ve made some good progress on my own so far, but it has taken a long time to get where I’m at now. I truly wish I had made the decision sooner to seek help from credit repair professionals. Lexington Law Firm offers its clients the power of knowledge by sharing important tips and ideas for credit repair. If you’re like me and you could use some help repairing your credit, call 1-855-532-6973 or visit LexingtonLaw.com to get:
- FREE personalized credit report consultation
- FREE access to your TransUnion report summary
- FREE credit report review and suggested solutions
Their packages start as low as $24.95 a month and include everything you need to start your credit repair journey.