JACKSONVILLE, Florida – Whether bad or good, credit scores affect everyone’s life.
Yet for many people, by the time they have learned the importance of having good credit, it may be too late.
“If you had late payments, it would take 24 months of on-time payments to rectify the situation,” said Mary Svoboda, interim president of the Jax Federal Credit Union.
Svoboda said paying someone who claims they can fix your credit fast is a waste of money.
“It can cost you several hundred dollars, and you can do it yourself,” she says.
Svoboda says these quick fix companies check your credit report for discrepancies, then dispute them. She explains how you can do it yourself instead.
“Check your credit report,” she says. “If there’s something, it’s very easy to dispute it directly with the lender or through the online process with the credit bureaus. So you don’t need to pay for it.
If there is one bright side to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s that the three major credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax and Transunion – allow anyone to check their credit every week without any penalties. Before, you could only do this three times a year.
Svoboda added that Experian now offers a credit augmentation service it’s free and can help you increase your score.
“The credit report would be linked to your bank account and through your bank account, they could see that you have regular deposits and that you pay your electric bill and mobile bill on time, things like that”, a- she declared.
Svoboda said that some of the most common pitfalls she sees when it comes to credit are people having too many credit cards. She said this should be avoided when you start to build up credit.
“Sometimes it’s horrible, you see people who have 20 or 30 credit cards, so it’s not a good idea,” she says.
All of this should be avoided when you start to build up credit.
If you want to build credit but need help living within your means, Svoboda recommends that you get what is called a secured credit card. It’s like a debit card in that you can only spend what’s in your account. But unlike a debit card, a secured credit card creates credit.
What if you take action to repair your credit, but can’t wait and need a loan now?
“Right now, what I would encourage someone to do is if you don’t really have any credit, bring me your bank statements and show me, ‘Look at this. I paid $ 600 rent for the first of the month for a year. I’m going to say, ‘Let’s make this loan,’ ”Svoboda said.
As you rebuild your credit score, Svoboda says you need to worry about it, make it important, and check it. Because a bad credit score doesn’t have to be a life sentence.
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