As young adults, millennials usually face a rough job market in an unfavorable economy which makes it difficult to build their credit scores. Theirs is the lowest average credit score amongst all age groups. Most older millennials are now coming to the age point where they would like to acquire financing and purchase real estate, only that they are having a few difficulties due to their credit.
How to Fix Bad Credit
Repairing bad credit is more or less like losing weight. This means that it will take some time and what’s more, there isn’t a quicker way to fix bad credit. As a matter of fact, of all the ways you can improve your credit score, trying a quick-fix can terribly backfire.
Any claims to improve bad credit fast are often scams. Try as much as possible to avoid hopping onto this bandwagon. The following few ways can help millennials build credit:
1. Acquiring a New Credit Card
Millennials are wary of acquiring credit cards after seeing the struggles others go through when they go through unemployment and into debt. Six in ten millennials do not have a primary credit card.
The quickest and easiest way you can build credit is by opening a primary credit card. It can be of great benefit to a large number of millennials.
While the first credit card has a very small balance, those small payments are bound to build a credible credit history and in order to avoid the struggle of paying huge debts, putting one low monthly expense on the card can go a long way.
2. Use of Secured Credit Cards
In as much as credit cards are a pretty easy way to build credit, not all millennials will get the approval to open one. An alternative for this kind of situation would be a secured card whose credit line is a cash collateral deposit. The amounts are often small but these cards are still an awesome way to build credit especially when payments are made in good time.
3. Keeping Low Balances
- When opening credit, you need to ensure that you charge an amount you can afford every month. With high balances come high fees and huge credit damage if not paid in time.
However, balances are also a good way to boost credit scores. A large part of credit scores is the utilization ratio. Provided your balances remain under 10% of the limits of the credit card, you can get the highest score possible.
Prior to applying for a loan or a new credit card, this score can be useful as it ensures that your scores are at their best when creditors and lenders are reviewing credit applications.
4. Timely Payments
Late payments from bills, debts, loans and credit cards can greatly affect your credit score. But if you are able to pay your bills on time, you can build your credit score a lot faster than it would typically take.
5. Regular Checking of Credit Reports
Even if you don’t think you have a credit history, it is important to check your credit score from the bureaus regularly. Even something as insignificant as a missed cell phone payment or a forgotten college medical bill can have an impact on your credit score. Checking credit personally cannot hurt credit scores as such but knowing where you stand can help you see if there are any issues. Have them resolved as soon as possible.
6. Avoiding Joint Credit Products
While they can be a little tempting, such things as signing a lease or a joint account on grounds of verbal agreement can cause big credit damage especially when it is your name on the contract.
There’s nothing morally wrong with helping a friend with limited credit or none by signing for a credit card, rental lease or a cell phone. However, should things go south, you should be ready to cope with the humiliation of late payments and a default affecting your credit score. If you have no control over the payments or are unprepared to pay up the entire contract or debt, you do not have to sign for it.
Millennials need to be mindful of the documents presented to them especially when relying on another person to cover the payment.
other valuable tips:
There is a lot of information and resources available which you can utilize with regard to credit repair including how it works. However, not everyone wants to be stuck due to technicalities that come with debt to income ratios, interest rates, mortgages and loans – and this is the case mostly with millennials.
With the aforementioned indispensable elements, you can disabuse yourself from the myths and misconceptions that are often associated with credit. Grasping the basics of the functionality of credit can help you handle money differently and in turn fix bad credit, build and maintain good credit.
Understanding the methods you can use credit efficiently can help a lot too. All the same, it is still imperative to keep tabs on your credit reports to gauge your financial worth and obligations and note any kinds of errors or negatives.
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