Big, bad problems can happen to you – bankruptcies, divorces, law suits, non-payment of taxes. These are big problems that can affect your credit score in as big way. If you have faced a large problem that has ruined your credit, you need to take action fast and work consistently to boost your FICO score:
Taking out credit and repaying it quickly
If you have terrible credit following a bankruptcy or other major financial upheaval, you may need to get back into a good credit rating by taking out a loan you can handle. Make an appointment to see your bank or bad credit lender a few months or years after the problem in question and arrange for a small loan.
You should have enough savings to pay for the loan before you do this. Pay back the loan quickly. It will not hugely boost your credit score but it will show lenders that you are having an easier time paying your bills. Taking out a small loan you can repay is part of the slow process of reestablishing good credit following a big financial problem.
Get secured credit
Secured credit is credit or a loan which uses something as collateral. In some cases, this could be an asset like a house. In some cases, this collateral could be money frozen in an account by the bank for just such a purchase.
If you need credit following a big problem with your credit score, secured credit may be something you can qualify for. You can use this secured credit to reestablish a good credit rating so that you will qualify for other loans in the future. You may have to pay slightly higher interest if your credit score is quite low, but in the long term repaying this type of loan can improve your credit score.
Give it time
Many people believe that simply paying off debts will improve their credit score at once. This is not true, unfortunately. If you have experienced a bankruptcy, have been reported to a collection agency, or have had charge-offs, the record will remain on your credit report – even after you have repaid your debts and resolved the problem.
In fact, major problems such as a bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for seven or ten years, affecting your credit score. Even if your credit problems stem from simply not paying bills on time, it will take some time for the mark to fade from your credit report and for your credit score to reflect your better repayment.
Paying off your debts and resolving problems will help your credit score (since overdue accounts will be marked as “paid” on your credit report), but only time will remove the mark of the problems from your record entirely.
This means that if you have faced a major setback such as a bankruptcy, you may have to wait in order to get the best interest rates on larger purchases. The good news is that the further away you are from a major financial problem, the less dire it appears.
For example, if you have declared bankruptcy, you can expect it to have a huge impact on your credit score for the first two years, during which time you will have a hard time getting any credit at all.
However, after two or three years, if you have been paying your bills on time, then the bankruptcy from two years ago will matter less because you have been rebuilding your credit. Your credit will still suffer – but you will slowly be starting to work your way out of the credit problem. Persistence and good financial habits will get you there.