Learn How to Handle Inaccuracies on Your Credit Report

Having a high credit score can make it easier to be approved for loans, rental agreements or even to get a job. If you notice that your credit score has plummeted unexpectedly, you need to take steps to rectify the situation right away. The following guide provides pertinent information you need to know about credit repair.

Many people assume that credit repair refers to fixing poor credit or building initial credit. This isn’t the case, though. Credit repair eludes to repair damage that has been done to your credit through inaccuracies. This can only be repaired by having the inaccuracies removed.

Credit Report

A credit report is a report that is created to show creditors, landlords or even employers your credit status. It can say a lot about you and you want it to be as high as it can possibly be. Having a low score on your credit report can insinuate that you’re irresponsible and untrustworthy. There are times when creditors report inaccurate information to the credit bureaus due to improper filing, paperwork not being filled out properly or simply because someone has a suffix that wasn’t added to their name when it should have been.

Learn more about your credit report.

Remove Credit Report Inaccuracies

Look over your credit report closely. You can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus each year. You want to check to see if there is any inaccurate information on the report. If there is, annotate the information about it, gather proof to show that it is inaccurate and attempt to contact the company that provided the inaccurate information to have them correct it.

Companies can file amendments to any filings that they make to the credit reporting bureaus if they know that mistakes have been made. They may require you to fill out some paperwork, but it will be well worth it if you can get the inaccuracy off of your record.

Click here to learn more about removing inaccuracies from your credit report.

Credit Repair Scams

It’s important to know that there are times when companies won’t take the time to correct inaccuracies. When this happens, you can hire a credit repair company to help you. It’s important to avoid credit repair scams , be sure that you work with a well-known, trustworthy company. Do research on them before providing any of your personal information. There are scam companies that will take your personal information and ruin your credit even worse than it already is if you aren’t careful.


It’ll take time before any inaccuracy is erased. It’s best to check your credit score on one of the free online credit score checkers every few weeks to see if the inaccuracy has been removed. If you go a month or more without hearing anything from the company or the credit bureaus when you try to rectify the situation on your own, take the next step and hire professional credit repair agents to tackle the problem for you. Once the credit repair company gets involved, it shouldn’t take long for the problem to be fixed.


credit cards for bad credit

Don’t Let a Low Score Bring You Down: The Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

The bad news: you have bad credit. 

The good news: you can still get a credit card. 

About one-third of all Americans have a credit score that falls beneath 601. That’s why so many credit companies have made their cards available to those with lower scores.

When you have bad credit, you should look for a card that allows you to start building it back up again. Choosing one of our suggested credit cards can help you raise your credit score as long as you make the required payments. 

Here are some of the best credit cards for bad credit: 

Discover It Secured

You might not be able to obtain an unsecured credit card yet, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting a secured card with a lot of great features. The Discover It Secured card has many perks similar to an unsecured card. Plus, the security deposit is only $200, and you won’t even have an annual fee. 

One of the best parts about the Discover It card is that you’ll receive 5% cashback on different purchases. Cashback conditions change quarterly, but often include grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants and more. You’ll also benefit from 1% cashback on every purchase you make.  

Capital One Secured Mastercard

Easily rebuild your credit using a Capital One Secured Mastercard without having to pay an annual fee. Better yet, this credit card for bad credit only requires $49 down for $200 worth of credit. 

As long as you use the card responsibly, you might even get your deposit refunded along with a higher line of credit. All you have to do is make sure that you pay your bills in a timely manner. If you’re unsure about the status of your credit score, don’t forget to check it using Capital One’s Creditwise. 

OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card

The OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card is made specifically for people with poor credit, as they don’t even check your credit when you apply for their card. You choose your credit line by how much you put down on your refundable deposit–the amount can range from $200-$3,000. 

OpenSky also sends your credit report to each major credit bureau, allowing you to check it often. A phone notification from their app won’t let you forget your monthly minimum payment. 

Milestone Gold Mastercard

Have a previous bankruptcy? No problem.

The Milestone Gold Mastercard won’t exclude you. That’s what makes the Milestone Gold Mastercard one of the best credit cards for bad credit. 

Your annual fee is determined by a prequalification assessment. It won’t hurt your credit score and calculates your annual fee based off of it.

Your annual fee could be anywhere from $35-$75 for the first year. After that, it’ll increase to $99. Although you might also be required to pay an opening fee, you can be sure that it won’t be more than $75. 

Merrick Bank Double Your Line Visa

Apply for a Merrick Bank Double Your Line Visa and get prequalified in less than one minute. As the name of this card suggests, it allows you to double your line of credit. After making your minimum payment every month for seven months, your credit line will be raised automatically. 

You’ll also benefit from online management tools, as well as the ability to check your credit score. With $0 fraud liability, you’ll be safe from any unapproved transactions. 


When you’re searching for credit cards for people with bad credit, it’s important to choose wisely. That’s why you should consider the AvantCard.

The AvantCard is one of the most convenient bad credit credit cards. The application process is simple and doesn’t take long. Using an AvantCard to better your credit score is ideal–you won’t be hammered with hidden fees, and you’ll have protection from fraud. 

Total Visa Unsecured 

You’re probably reluctant to get another credit card after having an experience with bad credit. However, the Total Visa Unsecured can help you reestablish your credit score.

There may not be any fancy features on it, but this is one of the best cards for people with bad credit. Instead of spending frivolously, you can work on becoming more frugal and avoiding items you can’t afford. 

When you first get your card, your credit limit will be $300. This prevents you from using it on huge purchases. Try to charge about $100 every month, and make sure to pay all of it off–otherwise, you’ll be hit with a high APR. 

Green Dot Primor Visa Gold Secured

A Green Dot Primor Visa Gold Secured credit card can be your solution if you’re unable to obtain a credit card. You don’t have to have a good credit score to get this card–a person with any credit score is welcome to apply. Fortunately, there aren’t any application or processing charges either. 

You’ll be given a credit line ranging from $200-$5,000. With a low 9.99% interest rate and no penalty fees, you should be able to rebuild your credit in no time. 

Indigo Platinum Mastercard

The Indigo Platinum Mastercard is another one of the most helpful credit cards for poor credit. You won’t even be disqualified for bankruptcies or for a bad credit score. 

Quickly apply without it having an effect on your credit score. Not only is this card protected from fraud, but it can be used at 35 million areas around the world. 

Credit One Bank Unsecured Visa

Who doesn’t love getting cash back? With Credit One Bank Unsecured Visa, you can get 1% cashback on certain purchases including gas, internet services, cable TV, groceries and more. 

You’ll also have the ability to check your credit score status through their website. Once you’ve consistently paid back your bills, you’ll qualify for a credit line increase. Luckily, you also won’t be accountable for any unauthorized transactions.  

The Bottom Line: Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Don’t get discouraged by your credit score. You don’t have to keep getting rejected by multiple credit card companies. Instead, choose one of these credit cards for bad credit. 

These cards make it possible to slowly rebuild your credit. Soon, your score will be back up and you’ll no longer have to suffer from bad credit. 

Want to know some of the fastest ways to help boost your credit score? Check out our article for more tips. 

credit score dropped

Top 7 Reasons Why Your Credit Score Dropped

A “good” credit score is anything over 700. A “great” score is anything over 800. Yet, the average credit score in the United States is just 687.

Having a decent credit score is important if you want to buy a house or car, apply for a loan, and more. But with so many factors going into determining your credit score, it can be tough to track down exactly why your credit score dropped or why it’s gone up.

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering, “why did my credit score go down,” keep reading to learn 7 common explanations.

1. You Missed a Payment

Making your credit card payment a day or two late won’t have an effect on your credit score.

But if you let that bill go unpaid for more than 30 days, the credit card provider will report your late payment to one or more of the major credit reporting agencies. Once this happens, your credit score is likely to drop.

The best way to avoid this is by always making sure to pay your credit card bills on time. If you do miss a payment, try to get it paid as soon as possible.

While paying more than 30 days late will hurt your credit score, paying it 60 or 90 days late will cause even more damage. Your credit card agency may also choose to report your debt to a debt collection agency. This will also be reflected on your credit score.

2. Your Debt to Credit Ratio Changed

Your credit utilization is the ratio of your credit line and your current debt.

For instance, if you had a credit card with a $4,000 credit line and you had $2,000 in debt, your credit utilization would be 50 percent because you are using half of your available credit.

Your credit utilization rate has a big effect on your credit score. In fact, it makes up a whopping 30 percent of your credit score.

Experts recommend keeping your credit utilization rate between 20 and 30 percent. Using more than 30 percent of your available credit on any given card can hurt your credit score.

3. An Old Mistake Aged Out

Sometimes a sudden and unexplained change in your credit score isn’t negative. A rise in your credit score can be equally perplexing. Even if you’re happy about the change, you may still wonder what caused it.

One reason your credit score may rise when you aren’t expecting it is when an old mistake you made finally ages out of your report.

Mistakes on your credit score, like missed payments, foreclosure, or bankruptcy, only stay on your credit report for a set number of years, depending on the type of debt.

You may have long forgotten about the mistake, but you will notice when your score rises a few points out of nowhere.

4. You’ve Applied for a Loan, Mortgage, or Credit Card

When you buy a home or car, apply for a loan, or even fill out an application for a new credit card, the loan or credit provider you’re applying to will run a credit score report. This report helps them decide whether or not to lend to you, as well as how much to offer.

Unfortunately, when this report is run, your credit score will drop a point or two, or even more.

You can’t avoid this drop unless you can avoid applying for loans or new credit cards. One small drop you can avoid is the drop you cause by checking your own credit score on certain credit score providers. Check to see whether or not checking your score in a particular place will have an impact on your score before you run the report.

5. You Got Rid of an Old Card

Getting rid of a credit card might sound like a smart move, especially if you’ve struggled with misusing cards in the past.

But getting rid of a credit card also means lowering your overall credit utilization rate. As we mentioned before, this can cause your credit score to drop.

Another problem with getting rid of an old credit card is that it can shorten the average length of your credit history.

How long you’ve had credit cards, loans, and other credit is a significant factor in determining your credit score. If you get rid of a card that you’ve had a while and keep newer cards, you’ll be shortening your credit history, which can cause a score drop.

6. Your Limit Got Lowered

Another way that your credit utilization rate can increase without you spending a dime is if your credit card line is reduced.

This can happen for a number of reasons. The most common is that you’ve missed a few payments.

When your credit line is decreased and you don’t make a big payment on your account, your credit utilization ratio will rise and so will your credit score.

7. The FICO Formula Changed

If you’re certain that none of the above reasons are to blame and you’re still wondering, “why did my credit score go down,” it could be that it isn’t your fault at all.

FICO uses a formula to determine a person’s credit score. They are constantly seeking to perfect that formula. That means that from time to time, the formula is changed in order to make credit scores a more accurate reflection of a person’s credit risk.

If you see a small jump or drop in your credit score that can’t be easily explained by another cause, it could be that the FICO formula changed.

Figuring Out Why Your Credit Score Dropped

From applying for loans and new credit cards to your limit getting lowered, there are a ton of reasons why your score may go down.

Now that you’ve learned a few of the most common reasons why your credit score dropped, it’s time to start working on tactics for bringing it up.

Check out this article next to learn the fastest way to improve your credit score.

do debit cards affect a credit score

Do Debit Cards Affect a Credit Score? Here’s All of Your Questions Answered

When it comes to financial literacy, many Americans are struggling to keep up.

Millions of Americans have at least one credit card. But, the majority of these people are clueless when it comes to using these cards effectively.

Many of these people are also unaware of how to use their debit card properly. They might even find themselves asking questions like, “do debit cards affect a credit score?”

If you’re guilty of asking questions like this, keep reading. Explained below is everything you need to know about whether or not your use of a debit card can influence your credit score. 

Debit Cards Vs. Credit Cards

First things first, let’s clarify the difference between a debit card and a credit card.

In order to get a credit card, a lender has to approve you for a specific credit limit. 

Whenever you use your credit card, you’re borrowing against that credit limit. You will also have to pay interest on your credit card balance if you do not make your payments on time or do not make complete payments.

A debit card, on the other hand, takes money out of your checking account whenever you use it. With a debit card, you’re spending money you already have. With a credit card, you’re borrowing money from your bank or credit union.

Do Debit Cards Affect a Credit Score?

The short answer to this question is, “no, they do not.” There are lots of factors that affect your credit score, but your debit card usage is not one of them.

Because you’re using the money you already have when you swipe your debit card, those purchase do not affect your credit report. Essentially, you’re not building credit when you’re simply spending your own money.

Which Factors Do Affect Your Credit Score?

So, debit cards don’t play a part in raising or lower your credit score. But, which factors do have an influence

There are lots of things that can raise or lower your credit score, including the following:

Payment History

Your payment history has a major effect on your credit score. If you’re not making credit card payments on time, or if you’re skipping them altogether, you’re going to have a hard time improving your score.

Credit Utilization

Your credit utilization is the amount of money you’ve charged relative to your credit limit. For example, if you have a $10,000 credit limit and you’ve charged $1,000, your credit utilization ratio is 10 percent.

Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to keep your credit utilization as low as possible — below thirty percent is ideal.

The Length of Your Credit History

How long have you been using credit cards or borrowing money from your bank or credit union? The longer your credit history, the better your credit score.

This is why it’s difficult for individuals who are new to credit to have high credit scores.

Credit Mix

The term “credit mix” refers to the different types of credit on your credit report. For example, you might have two credit cards, a mortgage loan, and an auto loan.

Generally speaking, if you have a diverse credit mix (and you’re making all your payments on time), you’ll have a higher credit score.

Lack of a Credit Balance

Using your credit cards too much can be problematic, but so can using them too little. If you never use your credit cards, you don’t have an opportunity to pay them off.

This, in turn, hinders your ability to build credit.

Your credit cards may even be canceled if you don’t use them often enough — and, this definitely isn’t good for your credit score.

How to Improve Your Credit Score

You might be relieved or disappointed to learn that your debit card usage does not impact your credit score.

While you won’t boost or lower your credit score with your debit card, there are lots of other steps you can take to get that score up.

Some specific strategies you can utilize include:

Get a Secured Credit Card

A secured credit card is kind of like a credit card with training wheels. The training wheels, in this case, are a security deposit that you pay before you can use your card. This security deposit acts as your credit limit.

Keep Your Credit Balance Low

Try to pay your credit card balance off in full each month. There’s no benefit associated with leaving a balance on your credit card — you’ll likely just end up paying more money in interest if you do this.

If you can’t pay your entire credit card balance, at least pay off the majority of it to keep it as low as possible.

Make Your Payments on Time

It’s also important to make sure you’re paying your credit card bills and making your loan payments on time. If you have a hard time with this, set reminders on your phone or set up automatic payments.

Monitor Your Credit Report

Keep in mind that you can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax). Take advantage of this opportunity and make sure there aren’t any errors that are affecting your credit score.

Be Selective with the Accounts You Close

Generally speaking, it’s not a good idea to close credit accounts, especially old accounts. But, if you have cards that you rarely use (especially cards that have a high annual fee), you might want to close them so you don’t get penalized for inactivity. 

Looking for More Tips to Improve Your Credit Score?

Clearly, the answer to the question, “do debit cards affect a credit score?” is a resounding, “yes.”

As you can see, there are lots of things you can do to use your debit card to boost your credit score.

Do you want to learn more about how to improve your credit score?

Start by checking out the credit repair section of our website today. It’s full of tons of tips and tricks to help you manage your finances effectively.

student loan default rehabilitation

Student Loan Default Rehabilitation: How to Rebuild Your Credit After Defaulting

Buy 2023, up to 40% of Americans paying back student loans may have defaulted.

That adds up to a whopping $560 billion in debt that never gets paid off.

So if you’ve defaulted on your student loans, you’re in good company. And if you want to rebuild your credit score, it’s not a walk in the park, but it is definitely possible.

In this article, we’ll take a look at student loan default rehabilitation, and how you can get your credit score back into the acceptable range.

Don’t let unpaid student debt become a lifelong burden.

Student Loan Default Rehabilitation 101: Get Your Loans in Order

This is the very first step in getting your credit score back into the range that will allow you to take out credit cards or purchase big-ticket items.

After you’ve defaulted on your loans, you’ll need to rehabilitate them, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll pay back everything you owe. Work with your loan provider to rehabilitate your loans in a matter of 9 to 12 months, or whatever you agree on together.

Sometimes, they’ll even allow you to use a lower monthly fee than you would have been paying before. The trick to this one is that you have to get everything paid on time. Otherwise, you run the risk of more problems. But, if you can get all of your rehabilitated loans paid off on time, you’re golden!

Use Income Based Repayments

Student Loans can be financially crushing, but they don’t have to be. Instead, use income-based repayments. Doing this allows you to pay what you can afford.

With federal student loans, you can let them know how much you make each month, how many people live in your house and what other things you’re responsible for. For instance, if you have four children, your repayments will be less than if you only have one, taking the care for that child into account.

This way, you can keep your monthly repayments in a range you can actually afford.

One reason many people shy away from this method is that you’re often simply paying off the interest of the student loans and not being able to pay off the principle.

While in the long-run, it’s not the best idea, it does work in the short-term to help you avoid default. And it helps keep your credit score in the clear so that you can purchase a home or car or other larger items.

Get Your Other Debts Down

Pay off your student loans first. They are the utmost priority in this case.

But once you’ve gotten your loans out of default, you should work on your other debt. Having too much debt can adversely affect your credit score as well, and it’s not something you necessarily want to deal with.

Your debt should be at 30% of your overall credit available. For example, if you have a line of credit of $1,000, your outstanding credit should be no more than $300.

This helps keeps things more manageable, and keeps your credit score as high as possible.

Getting Credit Cards

Getting a credit card might sound like a red flag because it could possibly put you in more debt. However, it can actually help you rehabilitate your credit score if you use them responsibly.

Don’t get a credit card and go hog wild.

Instead, get a credit card and buy things you can afford, and pay them off immediately.

If you do have a bad credit score, you won’t be able to get any credit card out there. You’ll need to either get a high-interest credit card or a secured credit card. And you’ll need to do it the smart way.

If you decide on a high-interest credit card, you’ll need to be sure you pay off your purchases the moment you buy them. We’re talking purchasing it on Amazon and then sliding the money into onto your credit card account immediately afterward.

You can also do a secure credit card. This allows you to put down a deposit, or collateral, because your credit score is still subprime. Because many credit card companies won’t trust you to pay back your credit card fees due to your bad credit score, you’ll use the fee you paid as your credit.

This way, you won’t have to worry about paying the credit card back, and you’ll build your credit score.


Consolidating loans is a great way to pay them off. Instead of having several little fires burning you’re racing to put out, you can put all of your loans together for one “big fire.”

This way, you’ll only make one monthly payment instead of several, and you’ll be able to see exactly how much you owe, instead of having to search several accounts to do so.

You can consolidate loans by taking out another loan to pay off your student loans and pay them back via the loan, or you can work with the federal loans provider to consolidate. 

Getting Back on Track

Student loan default rehabilitation may seem difficult, but don’t worry, it’s not impossible. With a bit of know-how and a whole lot of faith and gumption, you’ll be able to finally get to where you want to be credit-wise. Your student loans don’t have to hold you back forever.

If you’re still looking for tips on how to improve your credit score after your student loans, go here. We’ve got lots of ways to help you become financially savvy and take control of your future. Student debt doesn’t have to control you.

how long does it take to rebuild credit

Rate of Repair: How Long Does It Take to Rebuild Credit?

Do you have a bad credit score? When you’re dealing with bad credit or lots of debt, it’s easy to feel as though it’ll never get better.

Don’t lose hope, though. Lots of people have rebuilt their credit after making mistakes, and you can, too. 

Now, you might be wondering, “how long does it take to rebuild credit?”

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The amount of time it takes to rebuild your credit depends on a lot of factors.

Read on to learn more about the credit rebuilding process. This information will help you figure out how long it’ll take you to rebuild your credit.

Factors That Influence Your Credit Score

Before getting into the amount of time it takes to rebuild your credit, it’s important to understand the various factors that influence your credit score.

Many people are unaware of all the different factors that can raise and lower their scores. But, once you’re aware of these, you can identify the problems that are affecting your score and start making changes to rebuild your credit.

 Some factors that have the greatest influence on your credit score include:

  • Whether or not you’ve been making credit card and loan payments on time
  • Errors on your credit report
  • The amount of money you’re paying off with each payment (are you making just the minimum payment or paying off the full balance?)
  • The number of open credit lines you have (this includes mortgages, credit cards, and student loans)
  • Your credit utilization ratio (this is the amount you’ve borrowed from your available credit)

Frequent late payments, credit report errors, paying only the minimum payment, having several open lines of credit, and having a high credit utilization ratio can all have a negative impact on your credit score.

So, How Long Does It Take to Rebuild Credit?

Okay, you understand that there are lots of factors that influence your credit. But, how long will it take you to address these issues and boost your score?

Generally speaking, it takes about a year to recover and rebuild your credit. Keep in mind, though, that everyone has a different definition of what it means to rebuild their credit.

For example, if you currently have a bad credit score and want to work your way up to an excellent one, it’s going to take some time. We’re talking about raising your score several hundred points, after all. But, if you’re just trying to raise your credit score from “poor” to “fair,” you’ll be able to raise it more quickly.

Your credit history matters, too. If minor mistakes have been affecting your score, they can be rectified more easily. More serious mistakes, though, will take longer to erase and will have a negative impact on your credit score for a longer period of time.

Remember to be patient. It took a while for your credit score to get to the point it is now. It will take a while for you to bring it back up, too.

Tips to Rebuild Credit Faster

If you want to speed up the process of rebuilding your credit, you might want to try implementing some of these strategies:

Review Your Credit Report

Start by obtaining a copy of your credit report. You can get a free copy from each of the three credit bureaus.

Evaluate your credit report and look for any errors that are negatively impacting your score. Incorrect personal information, old debts, or unauthorized accounts or credit checks can all have an effect on your score.

If you notice any errors, reach out to the credit bureaus and work on getting them fixed.

Look for other factors that could be influencing your score, too. This includes late payments or accounts that have gone to collections. Once you figure out all the things that are hurting your credit score, you can start working on changing them.

Catch up on Late Payments

Late payments can have a serious effect on your credit score.

If you have a hard time keeping track of when your payments are due, try setting alarms on your phone or writing the due dates down on your calendar.

If this doesn’t work, consider setting up automatic payments. That way, you won’t have to worry about paying your credit card bills and loan payments on time.

Of course, you’ll need to make sure you have money in the bank at all times. If the payments can’t go through because of insufficient funds, you’re only going to end up with more credit damage.

Avoid Adding to Your Debt

While you’re working on rebuilding your credit, it’s a good idea to avoid taking on additional debt.

Don’t open any new credit accounts or apply for any new loans. Avoid using your credit cards, too.

Instead, focus solely on paying down your debt and paying off those remaining credit balances.

Consider Using a Secured Credit Card

If you don’t want to add to your debt but want another way to continue building your credit, you might also want to apply for a secured credit card

With a secured card, you’ll pay a security deposit that will act as your line of credit.

Thanks to the security deposit, you’re almost always guaranteed to be approved for a secured credit card. They’re also less expensive for people who have bad credit, and they’re identical to unsecured cards on a credit report.

As long as you don’t max out your spending limit and pay the monthly bills on time, this will help you build up your credit more quickly and with very little risk.

Looking for More Credit Rebuilding Advice?

You now have a more detailed answer to the question, “how long does it take to rebuild credit?” But, you probably still have questions about how you should go about rebuilding your credit.

If you’re not sure how to go about improving your credit score, check out the credit repair section of our website today.

You’ll have access to tons of great articles that will help you boost your credit score and gain financial freedom once and for all.

rebuilding credit after bankruptcy

The 5 Steps to Rebuilding Credit After Bankruptcy

If you’ve recently filed bankruptcy, you may be worried about how this affects your credit profile, now and in the future.

Certainly, no one wants to proceed with bankruptcy if they can avoid it. But, many people are left with no choice. And, it can offer a way out to those who are overwhelmed by extreme debt.

You should know that if you’ve felt forced to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, you aren’t alone. Although the number of bankruptcies filed each year has dropped since peaking about seven years ago, there are still plenty of people turning to the courts for a solution to financial crises.

Last year over 767,000 people filed for bankruptcy in the United States. That’s down from over the 1.5 million bankruptcies filed by individuals in the U.S. 2010.

If you are interested in rebuilding credit after bankruptcy, this post is for you.

Read on to learn more!

Rebuilding Credit After Bankruptcy

Once you have filed for bankruptcy, you may initially experience feelings of relief. But, eventually, you will probably develop some concerns about what it will take to rebuild your credit.

Let’s face it. In today’s society, having good credit offers a substantial advantage. Often, those with a negative credit score will face major obstacles when trying to obtain basic necessities, such as housing and personal transportation.

Filing for bankruptcy can result in automatic disqualification of loans and other opportunities until you are able to show that your financial situation has improved. One way to do this is to get serious about boosting your credit score.

Research shows that individuals with even a fair credit score may face expensive consequences. According to an article published by CNBC, a mediocre credit score can cost you up to $45,000 more than someone with a very good score. So, even if you haven’t had to file for bankruptcy, improving a poor to fair credit score can offer significant benefits.

If you’re ready to start rebuilding your credit, here are 5 steps that you should take.

1. Find Out Where You Stand

First, you should find out what your credit report reflects and obtain a current, accurate credit score.

Sometimes, the reality of your credit standing may not be as bad as you think, even if you have had to file for bankruptcy.

Plus, this will give you the opportunity to review any negative reports impacting your score.

2. Correct Any False or Inaccurate Information

Filing for bankruptcy should result in the removal of most items that negatively affect your score. However, sometimes creditors are slow to do their part in getting these items off your report.

If you notice that there are items that show a discrepancy, you should contact the creditor immediately to have these items removed or updated to reflect where you currently stand.

3. Contact Creditors That Show an Outstanding Balance & Make Payment Arrangements

If there are any accounts that you owe a balance, whether they are newly established or from years past, now is the time to address them.

Contact these creditors directly to make payment arrangements and find out what is required to repair the financial relationship.

Once you have established a brief history of on-time payments, you can ask that they take action so that these changes are reflected on your credit report. Any accounts that show you are in good standing have the potential to help boost your score.

4. Obtain Products That Allow You to Establish Positive Credit

It may take some work once you have sought bankruptcy, but there are certain creditors that work specifically with people who have negative histories.

You should know that you may have to pay an annual fee or higher percentage rate to initally obtain any forms of credit, but in the end, it will be worth the cost.

Try to find a credit card that offers the best possible terms, then commit to minimal usage and timely payments each month.

Maintaining a low debt ratio is crucial during the period following bankruptcy. It is also essential that you prove yourself capable of making payments before their due date.

It may feel counterproductive, but obtaining a line of credit, even if the terms are less-than-desirable, can be a big help to a struggling score. But, keep in mind, you should only obtain credit if you are sure that you will be able to stick to the terms of agreement.

5. Seek Professional Assistance

Luckily, there are places that you can turn to for free assistance in rebuilding a negative credit score.

Seeking professional advice is one of the best ways to get the help you need to improve your credit. Expert credit repair can be a most-valuable tool for those who have encountered major financial woes.

A credit repair professional can help you find the best potential solution to rebuild your credit in the least amount of time possible.

Get Free Expert Advice to Start Rebuilding Your Credit Today!

If you need assistance rebuilding credit after bankruptcy and don’t know where to start, we can help. We offer advice to help you improve your credit. Plus, you can find out the steps you need to take to get the positive results you crave.

Best of all, these resources are freely available. So, you don’t have to wait until you can afford to pay for credit repair services to start rebuilding your credit right away.

Want pro tips on the fastest way to repair your credit score?

Check out this post to find out the essential steps you need to take if you want to rebuild your credit quickly!

buying a house with bad credit

Buying a House with Bad Credit: How to Fix It Before You Buy

Approximately 68 million Americans (30 percent of all scoreable people) have a “bad” or “poor” credit score.

If you’re one of them, you might have a hard time making large purchases like a car or a home.

Buying a house with bad credit is possible. But it can be quite difficult.

If you want to avoid the hurdles associated with this process, consider improving your credit before you try to buy your dream home.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about improving your credit.

Why You Should Avoid Buying a House with Bad Credit

In some cases, you can still get approved for a home loan even if your credit score is less-than-ideal.

At the time, though, just because you can do something, that doesn’t always mean you should.

If you buy a house with bad credit, you may get approved for a home loan, but it will likely come with very high interest rates and fees.

You may also have to make a very large down payment. For example, if you have a credit score of less than 580 and want to qualify for an FHA loan, you’ll have to pay a 10 percent down payment. 

If you can’t afford a large down payment or don’t want to deal with astronomical rates and fees, it’s probably a good idea to table the idea of buying a home until you can boost your credit score. 

How to Improve Your Credit Score

Are you ready to start improving your credit score? Are you unsure of where to begin? Start with the following credit repair strategies:

Check Your Credit Report

One of the first things you should do if you’re interested in improving your credit score is to obtain a copy of your credit report. This will tell you your credit score, and it will also let you know if there are any errors that are bringing your credit score down.

Some common errors that can impact your credit score include:

  • Inaccurate personal information (name, address, Social Security number, etc.)
  • Not all credit accounts are being reported
  • Not all payments are being recorded
  • Old debts are still showing up 

You should also be on the lookout for accounts or credit applications that you don’t recognize. These fraudulent accounts or applications could be negatively affecting your score.

Make All Your Credit Card Payments on Time

Do you have a hard time keeping up with your credit card payments? Are you regularly making late payments or forgetting them altogether?

If this is the case, you’re going to have a hard time improving your credit score.

Go through all your credit card agreements and find the due date for each bill. Then, set reminders in your phone or write them down on your calendar so you don’t forget to pay them.

You can also set up automatic payments to take the guesswork out of the equation.

Avoid Adding to Your Debt

If you have a lot of credit card debt that’s dragging your credit score down, start working on paying it down. To do this, stop using your credit cards. That way, you won’t continue adding to your debt. 

It’s also a good idea to try and pay more than the minimum payment your lender requires.

If you only make the minimum payment, it will take you a very long time to improve your credit score, and you’ll end up paying a lot more in interest.

Be Cautious When Closing Old Accounts

In many cases, it’s a good idea to avoid closing old accounts, even after you’ve paid them off.

When you close accounts, you decrease the amount of credit that is available to you. This, in turn, can negatively affect your credit score by raising your credit utilization ratio. 

There are some accounts that you may want to consider closing, though.

For example, credit cards you don’t use regularly that have an annual fee can eat a hole in your bank account. And, credit cards with unfavorable terms or high interest rates might be doing you more harm than good.

Avoid canceling your oldest credit cards, though. These cards have the longest history and will be most beneficial to your credit score.

Avoid Additional Credit Applications

Every time you apply for a new credit card (including store credit cards), your credit score takes a hit. This hit occurs whether or not you get approved, and it impacts your score for a full year.

It’s true that this hit is small — usually between three and five points. But, 3-5 points can be the difference between one qualifying credit score and another. Remember, too, that those points add up if you’re applying for multiple credit cards in a short period of time.

Don’t worry about the credit checks lenders perform when you’re applying for a home loan or undergoing a background check. These are soft inquiries, and they do not affect your credit score at all.

Improve Your Credit Utilization Ratio

You might assume that you can charge as much as you want to your credit cards each month, as long as you’re paying off the balance in full. This isn’t actually the case, though.

If your credit utilization ratio is too high (i.e., you’re charging a large percentage of your total credit limit), your credit score can take a hit. 

Try to keep your credit utilization ratio to 30 percent or less. If you have a credit card with a $2,000 limit, for example, try to avoid charging more than $600 per month. 

If you know you’ve charged more than that 30 percent, try to pre-pay a portion of the balance. That way, you’ll keep your credit utilization low and will boost your credit score.

Improve Your Credit Score Today

As you can see, it’s best to focus on improving your credit score instead of buying a house with bad credit.

These tips will get you pretty far when it comes to getting a better credit score. If you need more advice, though, we’ve got you covered.

Check out the credit repair section of our website today for tons of great articles that will teach you everything you need to know about managing your finances and building up your credit score.

how does divorce affect credit

How Does Divorce Affect Credit Scores and What Can You Do About It?

Marriage is more than a bonding of two hearts. It’s also a union of finances and financial responsibility. 

However, money is a common source of marital stress and a leading cause of divorce. In a recent survey, 79 percent of divorcees said money played a role in their divorce.

When a marriage fails or ends, your heart bears the emotional toll, but that’s not all. Your credit score could also take a hit.

While we can’t do much about your heart, we can do something about your finances and credit score.

In this article, we answer the question “how does divorce affect credit” and tell you how to protect your credit.

Keep reading!

When Divorce Marks the Beginning of Financial Trouble

When calculating your credit score, credit bureaus don’t factor in your marital status. As such, divorce doesn’t directly affect your credit.

It’s the inevitable post-divorce financial troubles that’ll give your credit score a beating.

Let’s explore some of these potential situations.

Late/Missed Bills

It’s common for couples to shares financial bills in a marriage. Maybe you pay the rent in turns or make a 50/50 contribution every month.

Regardless of your specific situation, a divorce can be the end of your shared financial responsibility. One party could, for revenge or whatever reason, fail to honor their end of the deal.

If you don’t have the financial muscle to settle the bills alone and on time, your credit standing will be in jeopardy.

Typically, rent and other monthly utility payments don’t appear on your credit. But if they remain unpaid for a couple of months, the service providers could send your accounts to debt collectors.

Collections accounts bearing your name indicate a poor payment history. And, with payment history accounting for up to 35 percent of your credit score, expect a big drop.

Joint Marital Debt

In marriage, especially when it comes to money matters, unity is strength.

When you and your partner come together financially, you can get approved for a joint credit card with attractive interest rates. Or you can secure a joint mortgage and buy a bigger home.

In the event of a divorce, though, the joint debt could come to haunt your credit.

Even though a divorce nullifies your marriage, it doesn’t terminate any joint contracts or agreements you had with a financial institution. Sure, a family court can rule that one party is responsible for the joint debt, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods. If your partner slacks on payments or lets the debt go into default, the credit score of everyone listed on the joint account will tank.

Divorce and Bankruptcy

Divorce is a common reason for individual bankruptcy filings, and it’s easy to see why.

Facing unexpected financial pressure arising from credit card or marital debt, a divorcing couple can decide to individually or jointly seek bankruptcy protection. Depending on the bankruptcy you go for, your debt could be wiped out or you could get more time to settle it.

A big drawback of filing for bankruptcy is it can stay on your credit report for up to 10 years. It will also seriously hurt your credit score.

What You Can Do to Protect Your Credit

After a divorce, life moves on. You still have to stay on top of your financial obligations. 

It’s in your best interest to protect your credit standing before and after a divorce. Here is how to do it.

Adjust Your Lifestyle Accordingly

With a combined income, a couple can comfortably afford the finer things in life. A bigger house, frequent vacations, private education for the kids…you name it.

But when a divorce happens, ex-couples face the prospect of living with a reduced income.

Don’t make the mistake of continuing to live a life your individual income cannot sustain.

If your ex-partner moved out of your home, for instance, you might be tempted to keep it, but will your finances allow? Will you afford to settle the mortgage in case your ex stops paying up?

If not, it’s best to downsize. This may mean moving into an apartment or even moving back with your parents as you fix your finances.

Divorce is often a difficult and costly business. Trying to maintain a lifestyle you cannot afford will not only make the transition more traumatic but also put your credit rating at risk. Anything from late utility bill payments to missed mortgage payments can hurt your score.

Don’t Slack On Payments

On your part, you might not have a problem settling individual bills.

The problem is with the joint debt. Your ex could simply stop paying up what they owe.

To protect your credit, the onus is on you to follow up and make sure the ex stays on top of the payments. If they don’t, both your scores will be affected.

But how do you find out if your ex is paying up?

Obtain the statements of your jointly-held accounts and find out whether they are up to date. If not, remind your ex that they’re late on the payments. In case your ex isn’t cooperating or unable to pay at the moment, you can pay, and then ask your lawyer to seek orders requiring the ex to reimburse you.

Another option is to keep tabs on your credit report.

If your ex has defaulted on joint debt, it’ll show up on our report. Although by this point your score might have already taken a hit, taking the appropriate action will help prevent further deterioration.

Cut Financial Ties with Your (Soon to be) Ex

Often, it’s what you do just before the divorce that will save your credit score the most.

You see, marriages rarely end out of the blue. There will be signs. And when you see these signs, it’s time to start severing financial ties with your spouse.

Keep note, some financial ties are harder to severe than others. For example, it’s easier to remove your name as a cosigner on a rental agreement than it’s to get out of a joint mortgage.

Either way, explore your options and severe all the financial ties you possibly can. After the divorce, there will be fewer financial obligations on your plate.

How Does Divorce Affect Credit? Now You Know!

In today’s economy, having a good credit score can mean the difference between financial freedom and financial hardship.

This is why you need answers the question “how does divorce affect credit” and know what you can do to protect yours. Lucky for you, we have killed the two birds. Now you know the various ways divorce can harm your credit, as well as how to minimize the damage.

If your score has already taken a beating, worry not. Read our credit repair tips to start rebuilding it.                                 

do medical bills affect your credit

Do Medical Bills Affect Your Credit? Here’s What You Should Know

A recent study found that 2 in 3 patients cannot pay off their medical bills. In 2016, for bills averaging less than $500, 68% of individuals did not make payments on time. By 2020, this number could climb to a whopping 95%!

Navigating healthcare and being able to protect yourself financially can feel like a losing battle. Are you wondering, do medical bills affect your credit?

Let’s get into what you need to know!

Do Medical Bills Affect Your Credit?

To put it simply, it depends. It depends on the lender. Some medical debts can impact your score severely, especially if the lender uses older versions of credit scores.

First of all, you should know that you have several different credit scores, and each of them can be affected in a variety of ways.

For example, the FICO 9 (the newest score) disregards paid collection accounts. Furthermore, open medical collection accounts carry less statistical weight than they did in previous models.

However, most accounts still use the FICO 8. This model examines any small collection bills if the original balance exceeds $100.

The Vantage 4.0 score, on the other hand, separates medical collection bills from other collection accounts. It penalizes non-medical collection accounts but doesn’t affect medical ones as harshly. It also disregards medical bills with less than six months in collections.

The silver lining for medical bills and credit scores? The three major credit reporting agencies, Transunion, Equifax, and Experian, don’t report medical debt until after 180 days after it incurred.

This gives you ample time to plan out how to take care of medical bills.

Avoiding Negative Credit Impact

A low credit score can impact everything, from how a potential employer screens you to the interest rate you receive for a new home.

Ideally, you want your score to be as high as possible. That said, a medical crisis can demolish even the most substantial emergency savings.

Stay Updated on Your Medical Bills

Insurance can be undoubtedly tricky to navigate. In fact, research shows that 96% of Americans struggle to understand basic insurance terms.

To stay safe, consult with your insurance company after every doctor or hospital visit. Yes, this may seem like overkill, but it will help you determine if you have a balance. Even if you have a premium insurance policy, you shouldn’t assume that they will cover everything.

Often, you can also check your balance on your company’s online portal. Make it a habit to check it once every two weeks or month- and after medical appointments or surgeries.

Finally, don’t forget to comb through your mailbox! Even though most of us receive copious amounts of spam, you don’t want to accidentally toss a critical bill.

Request an Itemized Bill

Let’s say you had a standard procedure that was ‘supposed’ to be covered by insurance. Two months later, you wind up with a surprise bill costing $2300.

It’s a familiar scenario. However, it’s one that can devastate individuals and their families.

You can either pay the bill willy-nilly. Or you can freak out. Or you can determine exactly what services were being rendered.

Billing companies and healthcare providers make mistakes – plenty of them. An itemized bill lines each service and provides you with the opportunity to determine how everything stacks up.

Check For Errors

If you believe your insurance covers certain services (that don’t end up being covered), call your provider. You need to play an active part in your medical planning.

You can also check for the bill’s validity. For example, if you don’t believe you actually owe a bill, you can ask the collection agency to validate the debt in writing within one month of receiving it. You can also dispute it with the credit agencies.

Medical bill scams are rampant. Make sure to determine the legitimacy of any bill you receive before sending payment.

Negotiate With The Collectors 

Striking a reasonable compromise with the collection agency is possible. First of all, you can ask if paying it off immediately will avoid them reporting you.

Ideally, you want to aim to remove the medical debt from your credit report. Some agencies refer to this process as a ‘pay to delete.’ If your agency agrees to these terms, get it in writing.

Likewise, some situations may feel completely unfair or even ridiculous. For example, maybe you never received your copy of the bill. If this occurs, you can consider filing a formal complaint with your state’s attorney general or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

You can also contact your provider and request them to pull the bill from collections to enable you to pay them directly. If the provider agrees to this, the agency will remove the debt from your report.

Negotiate For A Payment Plan

If you already know that you won’t be able to pay a bill in full, contact your insurance to determine if you can collaborate on a payment plan.

They don’t have to agree to it. However, most insurance companies want to work with their customers. After all, they want to get paid, too!

However, you should note that providers can still send bills to collections even if you’re making payments. Make sure to agree on a payment arrangement in writing.

Alternatively, you can consider opening up a credit card with a 0% APR to transfer your balance. That way you can pay off your bill on your terms without it going to collections.

Final Thoughts

Do medical bills affect your credit? As you can see, it depends on the bill, lender, and your proactivity in your treatment.

Are you struggling with a low credit score and looking to improve it fast? Be sure to check out our essential tips today.

credit monitoring

Credit Recovery Timeline: How Long Do Certain Problems Stay On My Credit Report?

Credit is that ever-dreaded, ever-sought-after thing that can greatly affect your ability to make important financial decisions. We tip-toe around things that could have a negative effect on our credit, but sometimes we’re forced to make decisions that harm our credit score.

Some situations may warrant excessive credit card use. For example,  Maybe our jobs fall through and we’re forced to miss a rent payment or something similar. It happens.

Those things adversely affect our credit scores, and it can seem like the end of the world. But how long do credit problem lasts? Do you have to live your entire life with bad credit if you forget to pay the balance on a credit card or two? Keep reading to find out.

How Long Do Credit Problems Last?

If you’ve had a few slip-ups, you aren’t doomed to an eternity of bad credit. Your credit will improve over time if you let it, but the amount of time it takes depends on the kind of penalties you had.

We’ll cover a few of the different penalties you may have experienced and how long it takes for them to be taken off of your credit score.

When You Miss a Payment

Things like car, rent, and mortgage payments are all going to leave a dent in your credit score if you miss them.

From the date of the missed payment, seven years will go by until that blemish is removed from your score. Even if you pay the balance right away, your credit score will still reflect that you missed a payment.

That being said, you should still pay the balance as soon as you can to prevent further penalties.

Collections Agencies

You may miss enough payments to have your account “charged off” and sent to a collection agency. The reflection on your credit score will, again, stay for seven years.

Usually, your account gets sold to a collections agency roughly three months after your first missed payment. They could come from overdue credit card payments, medical payments, even utility payments.

You should do your best to pay those fees as soon as possible though. Because, in addition to charges piling up, you’ll be liable to receive additional charges and even face legal action if you don’t get square with the collections agency. The seven years, though, starts on the date of your first missed payment.

Paying off the debt sooner than later can have a benefit to your credit score, too. While the issue will still appear on your credit score, it may be less significant if you can show that you paid it off quickly. Additionally, some late payments will have harsher consequences than others.

Late medical bills, for example, will be a little more forgiving than late credit card payments.


Bankruptcies are likely to stay on your report for seven to ten years. The length of time depends on the type of bankruptcy that you went through.

The longest lasting hit to your credit will come from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, staying for ten years, while a Chapter 13 will only last for seven years. The harm of your bankruptcy will diminish slightly two years after it happens.

The trick is to be careful with your credit and give it time to improve as you make wise financial decisions.

Hard Inquiries

You get hard inquiries from businesses that are considering the option of giving you a line of credit. The hit isn’t too bad, but it does last on your score for a year.

The inquiry will show on your credit report for a couple of years, but your score will only be affected for the first year. These inquiries account for only 10 percent of your score, and an inquiry will only drop your score by a few points.

What Can You Do to Boost Credit?

In the face of damages to your credit, it can seem like a lost cause to even try to improve it. Don’t get too down on yourself, you will have great credit after your damages are crossed off of your report.

Seven years down the line, you’ll thank yourself for having done the following things:

1. Making Timely Payments

Whatever the issue was that caused you to miss payments before, do whatever you can to solve it. If it was a fluke from the universe and a squirrel stole your wallet and emptied your credit accounts, so be it. But if the issue had to do with money management or something personal, do your best to work on solving the issue.

Additionally, keep all of your financial information organized. Late payments are often just a result of sloppy bookkeeping and forgetfulness– we’ve all been there. Keep a folder with all of your bills and records.

If physical documents aren’t your thing, find one of the many sites online that will help you organize your finances.

2. Get a Credit Card, Don’t Use it Much

You can build credit by successfully making payments on time. Open a credit card and use it once a month for gas. Fill up your tank, then pay off the balance right away.

Doing this will slowly build your credit and show that you’re a reliable person. If you have to use your credit card more often than that, do your best to keep the balances low.

3. Talk to a Financial Advisor

Financial advisors can help you make realistic plans to knock out your debts and build credit. They can also inform you as to which debts to cover first, and which ones you can put off.

Need Help Improving Your Credit?

It’s not easy to solve credit problems all by yourself. Sometimes you need to use outside resources to inform how you’ll move forward.

If you’re in a situation where you need assistance with your credit report, we’ve got the information you need. Please comment below with any questions you might have or get in touch with us today.