7 Ways to Rebuild Your Credit

7 Ways to Rebuild Your Credit

Having good credit is necessary for several reasons. Without good credit, it can be very difficult to buy a house, get a new car, or open a new line of credit. Your credit score and credit history can even impact your chances of getting a new job. If your credit is less than great due to bankruptcy, missed payments, or any other reason, you need to start rebuilding it. Here are seven ways you can do so.

Keep Current with Your Bills

Paying your bills on time is one of the best things you can do to rebuild your credit. It shows that you’re responsible and that you can manage your finances and your debt. Missing a single payment, especially if it’s for your car, mortgage, or credit card, can do more damage to your credit score than you might think. If you stay current on your bills, you should start seeing your FICO score slowly increase every month. Your payment history makes up 35% of your credit score, making it the largest factor in determining your score.

Do remember that some bills don’t affect your credit score at all. Utility bills, for example, aren’t considered credit, so they won’t have any impact on your score. Only loans, including mortgages, car loans, and credit cards, are what affect your score. But that doesn’t mean you should get behind on your utility bills, though.

Pay Down High Balances

Another 30% of your credit score is determined by your credit utilization. This is the amount of charges you’ve made on your credit cards, also called revolving credit. If all your cards are maxed out, you have 100% credit utilization. That’s going to greatly impact your score. Those with outstanding credit ratings will usually have a credit utilization of less than 10%. Anything under 30% is acceptable, though.

The best way of dealing with high credit utilization is to make regular payments that are above the minimum required amount. This helps to pay down your balance faster since a good amount of your minimum payment simply goes to cover the interest every month.

Only Open New Lines of Credit When You Must

Another factor that makes up 15% of your credit score is the average age of your lines of credit. Opening new lines of credit lowers this average, which hurts your overall score. Do what you can to avoid getting new credit cards while you’re working to rebuild your credit. Those with high credit scores have a credit age of 11 years, while those with very low scores have an average credit age of about six months. The more credit cards you have, the more you’re likely to be tempted to use them. By not opening new lines of credit, you’re keeping yourself from racking up more debt. However, it is helpful to have one older line of credit on your account. When paying off your debt, keep the credit card account you’ve had the longest, that will impact your credit score in a positive way. And once you pay off other cards, cancel them.

Inquiries Do Affect Your Score

When you apply for a new line of credit, the creditor does what’s referred to as a credit inquiry. This gives them access to all of your credit history and other information, so they can see if you’re likely to be able to pay your monthly payment. Each time someone does a credit inquiry, it temporarily affects your score, dropping it a few points. Inquiries make up 10% of your FICO score, so it’s a fairly small impact; however, the more credit inquiries you have, the lower your score will get. Do your best to avoid applying for any type of loan or credit card, especially if you don’t really need it.

See a Credit Counselor

If you’re having trouble getting a handle on your expenses and credit on your own, you can see a credit counselor. These experts can assist you with prioritizing which credit cards to pay on first and help you understand how your credit score is affected by everything you do. They can help you make a budget that covers all your necessary expenses, lets you start tackling your debt, and still leaves you a little bit of money every month for fun.

Beware of Scams

Watch out for scams that promise they can quickly fix your credit. These companies say that for one small fee, they can wipe out anything negative on your credit report and up your credit score without you really doing anything. That’s simply not true at all. There’s no quick and easy fix for a low credit score. It takes time and dedication to rebuild your credit. Also, remember that things such as foreclosures and defaulting on debt will be on your credit report for seven years or more. There’s no way to remove them before that, and anyone who says otherwise is not being honest. While it’s unfortunate that nothing you do can speed up the process of removing these things from your credit, it’s simply something you have to accept.

Watch Your Credit Score

If you’re working on repairing your credit, you’re likely watching your FICO score like a hawk. That’s a good idea since you’ll be able to see how your actions are affecting it. However, don’t obsess too much or get too depressed if it seems like your credit score isn’t increasing as quickly as you’d like it to. It will take time. Also, be sure to check your credit report every year. You can obtain a free credit report yearly from each of the three main credit reporting companies, and it’s a good idea to do so. This will let you see what’s been reported to credit monitoring companies. If you’ve been the victim of identity theft, this is one of the best ways of catching it. You may see something on the report that you didn’t know about. If it’s a line of credit you didn’t open, you can go about contacting the credit company to close the account.

These seven tips will help you rebuild your credit. Again, it takes time, and it won’t happen overnight. With a little bit of dedication, though, you can do it.

Fairless Motors is a family-owned used car dealership with more than 30 years of experience helping people just like you get the financing for your ideal pre-owned vehicle. Our bad credit auto loans make financing available to all drivers, regardless of your credit score or history. Our friendly professional team will work out your ideal loan amount, the payments you can afford, and the right term for your loan. It’s quick. It’s simple. It’s fair. And making your car loan payments on time every month will go a long way towards raising your credit score.



Tips on How to Maintain Your Car

After the acquisition of a family home, automobiles are often the next most significant purchase that we make in our lifetimes. While we usually buy cars more often than we buy houses, they are still a long-lasting purchase and the buying process should be approached with deliberation to avoid mistakes. With better materials and the amount of precision that today’s cars are built with, they are lasting a much longer time, making pre-owned cars a very attractive option. If you opt for a used car, giving it the proper attention can help it to last longer and run better with fewer days spent in the repair shop.

Consumers who are looking for an affordable transportation option often find a pre-owned car that meets their needs. Proper care can help a well-built car last years, while providing reliable transportation. Proper car maintenance is as simple as tracking fluids, lubricants, and systems. Throw in some protective measures like sun shades, tire rotation, and undercarriage waxing, and you will be good to go. The following tips on proper car maintenance can help you keep your car running well for many years to come.

Regular Oil Changes
Oil is the blood of a car engine and must be changed on a regular basis, and this is one area where it makes sense to spend more for a better product. Putting in the best oil you can afford into your car will help it run better and prevent some costly engine problems. Don’t forget to change your oil with the proper oil weight as often as recommended by your manufacturer or you could end up with a very expensive engine problem that can put your car completely out of commission.

Tire Quality and Rotation
Tires can be expensive to replace but keeping them properly rotated can help to add miles to their life. Your entire car is resting on the tires and it does not make sense to go cheap when purchasing them. In fact, cheaper tires will wear more quickly and require replacement sooner than their higher-quality counterparts. This is another area where it makes sense to spend a little more to get a higher standard of product.

Change Fluids and Coolants
When you take your car in for the regular oil change, have the shop conduct a full review of your car’s basic systems. This will prevent costly repairs down the road that can be easily avoided by maintaining the proper level of fluids. Coolants should be changed based on the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule and should be on your list of regular car maintenance tasks. If you are feeling truly inspired, it’s worth the time to learn how to check and properly manage your car’s fuel levels. This is one aspect of car maintenance that you can carry out yourself if you have the correct knowledge.

Keep It Clean – Especially the Undercarriage
Keeping your car washed and clean does make it look better, but it also helps to protect the body from damage and corrosion. When washing the car, don’t forget to get the undercarriage nice and clean. It is in this area that dirt and debris can build up and create problems if left unattended for too long. Regular washing and waxing is a great way to protect your car well into the future.

Maintain Proper Lubrication
The interworking joints and gears of a car’s engine must be properly lubricated to function well. Do not overlook this step in the maintenance process. Because we don’t often look that closely into the inner workings of car engines, this task is often left until it is too late, and the damage is done. Keeping everything lubricated helps to decrease friction and the type of wear and tear that can lead to more expensive engine issues.

Protect the Interior from Sun Damage
No one wants to drive around in a car with a cracked dashboard or other unsightly interior damage. If you are going to be parked outside for an extended period of time, look for a shady spot. If you live in a warm and sunny environment, or in the hot summer months, and park your car outside on a regular basis, it’s worth the time and effort to invest in a foil sunshade. These simple products protect your car from excessive heat and potentially damaging sun rays. In addition to the cosmetic and surface damage that the sun and its heat can cause, is the potential harm to your car’s computer and electronic systems.

Replace Brake Fluid and Pads as Necessary
Brakes are a key part of the car and should be treated accordingly. If you are taking your car in for regular maintenance such as oil changes and tire rotation, the brakes should also be checked during these appointments. Brake pads and rotors should be changed as necessary and keeping brake fluid at the correct levels will help to keep those more expensive equipment items running well. If your brakes are squeaking, it is likely time to give them some attention. However, if you are properly caring for your brake system, they should never squeak or screech.

Following this list of helpful and straightforward tips can keep your vehicle well-maintained and running smoothly. With the proper care and attention, today’s best-made cars can last for hundreds of thousands of miles, making them a functional and wise investment. When you have a regular maintenance schedule that you follow, these steps are simple to follow. When you buy your new car, be sure that you take the time to find a garage that you can trust. Having a partner working with you to keep your car running smoothly can make a world of difference! Follow these simple steps to keep your car in great shape for years to come.

And when it’s time to replace that vehicle, think of Fairless Motors. Not only do we maintain an extensive inventory or low mileage pre-owned vehicles, we will be happy to take your vehicle in on a trade-in, which you can put towards the purchase of your new car or truck. Go to our Value-Your-Trade page, fill out the simple form, and we’ll get back to you within 48 hours with an estimated appraisal.