Posts tagged: credit score

Best Loans for Building Credit History

good credit historyIndividuals who have poor credit or little to no credit history typically struggle with low self-esteem as they may find it difficult to qualify for credit or a loan. Naturally, they often wonder how they can start to repair or build their credit. If you fall under one of those categories, you are not alone. A credit builder loan can help as it is tailored to specifically improve or build credit. Over time, it allows you to develop a good credit score, which can help you to qualify for a credit card or loan with better rates.

What are the Requirements for a Credit Builder Loan?

You generally don’t need good credit to qualify for installment loans to build credit history. However, you must prove that you have sufficient income to make payments back toward the loan. The amount that you ultimately receive on the loan is stored in a bank account as you pay it back. When you pay back the credit builder loan, your timely payments are reported to the three major credit bureaus, TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Your payments will help to improve your credit score and credit reputation over time, which can also improve your social reputation and self-esteem. The loans are commonly referred to as “fresh start loans” and are usually acquired through small financial institutions like community banks and credit unions.

China’s Social Credit System can serve as a guideline for improving a person’s social reputation and standing in comparison with an American consumer’s good credit history. The country has instituted a law that places restrictions on both people and businesses with low credit ratings and creditworthiness. This is essentially similar to restrictions that American consumers face when they have poor or no credit history as they are limited in terms of qualifying for credit and loans.

How to Secure a Credit Builder Loan

There are specific steps you can take toward securing a loan to build credit. They include the following:

• Find a credit builder loan: Search for loans that include payment levels that are comfortable for you to afford. It’s wise to avoid spreading your budget too thin with higher payments as you can end up having trouble paying back the loan. The best thing to do is opt for lower payments and terms lasting no longer than 24 months.

• Apply for a loan: If you are approved after applying for a loan, the money is placed into a savings account from which you have no access until after you have fully repaid the loan. Essentially, this is in place to protect the lender.

• Make timely payments: It’s important to make timely payments toward the loan. In return, the lender sends positive reports to the credit bureaus. Avoid making payments over 30 days late as that can have a negative impact on your credit score.

• Monitor your credit score: You can regularly monitor your credit score through personal finance websites or services.

• Collect loan proceeds, plus interest: At the end of the loan’s term, you will receive the funds and will see an improved credit score.

Finding Credit Builder Loans

It can be challenging to find credit builder loans. You can search online for institutions in your state that offer them and search for online lenders as well. Generally, credit unions usually have the best interest rates due to their membership requirements.

You can also find a loan through a Community Development Financial Institution, which helps individuals with lower incomes. Lending Circles is a program that is operated by a nonprofit that can also offer credit builder loans.

The Very Many Benefits Of Having Good Credit

score your creditsEveryone desires a good credit rating. Possessing one can unlock financial doors and make you look much more appealing to creditors. However, many people don’t realise how easy it is to build up a credit rating with the correct financial decisions. This is especially important for young people during their 20’s who may hope to apply for a mortgage in the future. It can also be used to provide you with business loans, short term cash advances, and even simple things such as mobile or broadband service contracts.

However, applying for the best signature loan or car finance deal will take shrewd financial planning. While this may seem like ‘boring planning time,’ it can be immensely valuable, and any hour spent here can translate to days or weeks of solid financial security. In a tumultuous world, this can be the bedrock you need to truly live the life you want.

The steps to building great credit are as follows:

Stay Aware

Many people will tell you the first best thing you can do is to apply for credit cards, make your purchases and pay back the balance promptly. This is an excellent guiding point, but it’s not the most important. Staying aware of your credit rating at all times, as well as the circumstances that might bring it down, is just as important. Not only does staying aware in this way give you the opportunity to identify past debts or loans which have completely gone unpaid, but they’ll help you understand and potentially build a timeline for how long you can expect to be in the ‘good credit’ bracket. This can help you plan significant financial investments in the future at a much more accurate timescale than someone who is simply ‘guesstimating’ the process.

Don’t Be Afraid Of Cosign Loans

Cosign loans often exist to help you with a financial circumstance, such as an emergency payment or a large gift you’re buying, without subjecting you to the dreadful high APR a low to medium credit score can net you. Simply find another guarantor to sign their name on the loan in good faith, and repaying the loan back on time (or better earlier,) can help skyrocket your credit score. Of course, asking someone to take this risk on you is a very personal and demanding affair, so be sure to be completely upfront about the loan terms and your requirements for taking it.

Financial Links

Sometimes, your credit score can be affected by the financial links you have. For this reason, staying aware of opening joint bank accounts is appropriate. Unless you have been happily married for at least a year, it’s likely that opening one should be postponed.

Check Information

The simplest way to keep on top of your credit score, and to make sure it’s accurate, is to update your information at all times. Changing certain information such as your current address, marital status and dependants help your credit profile with its accuracy. Not falling down at the first hurdle when applying for credit can be the first line of success in getting accepted.

With these simple tips, you’re much more likely to begin your ascent into solid credit reliability with ease.

Keeping Score: How To Get Your Credit Rating Back In The Black

score your creditIn the modern era, just about the entire economy is built around credit. While many people think of credit and debt as inherently scary things, the truth is that most people find them to be incredibly useful. Whether you’re applying for a mortgage, buying a car, or paying for something on your credit card, your credit score is both affected by everything that you do and impacts what you’re able to do. However, a lot of people struggle with how they can go about improving their credit score. For something so important, it’s shocking just how many people don’t actually know how to go about improving it. With that in mind, here are some things that you can do to get your credit rating out of the red and into the black.

Consolidate your debts

Debt isn’t necessarily a bad thing when it comes to your credit rating. After all, being able to borrow money and show that you can pay it back in full and on time is one of the very best ways to building up a decent credit score. However, having a lot of debt from different creditors can have a pretty negative impact on your credit score and can make lenders much less likely to trust you with their money. Sites like can help you to consolidate your debts and combine them into a single monthly payment. Not only can this improve your credit score but it can potentially help to reduce your monthly outgoings significantly.

Reduce your spending

One of the biggest issues for a lot of people is simply that they fail to pay close enough attention to how much they’re spending. Sure, you might not spend large amounts all at once, but it’s the little purchases here and there that actually make all the difference. It’s incredibly easy for those purchases to add up and before you know it you’re spending far more than you can actually afford. Ending up in your overdraft every month is a surefire way to wreak havoc with your credit rating and leave lenders highly reluctant to do any dealings with you at all.

Speak to the experts

Sometimes your financial situation can be so bad that it feels like you can’t deal with it on your own. If that’s the case, then don’t panic. There are plenty of organisations and debt based charities that can help you to manage your finances better and help to provide you with plans to pull yourself out of debt and improve your credit rating. Remember, no matter how bad things get, there are always ways to pull yourself back out and take back control of your finances.

Improving your credit rating isn’t necessarily going to be something that you can achieve right away. There’s a good chance that it’s going to require a good deal of discipline and patience from you. However, it’s important that you hold onto it because it’s simply too important to ignore. There are so many things in life that you cannot do without decent credit.

What Is A Bad Credit Score And How To Fix It

boost your credit scoreIf you’ve recently tried to borrow some money or take out a credit card but have had the dreaded rejection email or letter, it’s pretty much certain that there is something amiss with your credit score. This can seem like an enormous setback, an intractable problem that is going to wreck your plans and prevent you from getting on in life.

But, bad credit scores are not only highly common; they are highly fixable too. Many hundreds of thousands of people in the United Kingdom suffer impaired credit ratings and yet still manage to borrow money through the so-called sub prime lending sector.

Furthermore, given good financial management and discipline, these people are able to fix their credit scores so that, after a certain period, they regain access to more mainstream forms of credit.

Credit scores explained

There are three main credit reference agencies in the UK – they are Experian, Equifax and CallCredit. These organisations hold data on every person who has borrowed money, holds a utility or insurance account or a mobile phone contract. This data includes information that includes existing and past addresses, the payment history on each account (whether payments are and have been kept up to date), a record of any defaults, bankruptcies or county court judgements (CCJs).

The information is straightforward. You can apply to one or all of the reference agencies for a copy or your record (for the payment of a small fee) and you should be able to see immediately where your problems lie if you’re having trouble getting access to credit.

But, it is how the agencies and financial organisations interpret the data that results in a credit score. This number – usually between 300 and 900 (although this varies according to which agencies figures are being used) – is an expression of risk that a borrower represents to a lender. The lower the score, the higher the risk. Some agencies will express that risk as very poor, poor, fair, good or excellent. Very poor might be a rating between 300 and 400 while good and excellent might extend all the way from 700 up to 900.

Those judged to be very poor are likely to have difficulty getting access to most forms of credit. They will struggle to be accepted for loans, credit cards, bank accounts and even mobile contracts. This rating may even affect their ability to get a new electricity or water account set up.

People with poor credit ratings are likely to be rejected by many lenders, but some will consider their applications. However, they are likely to face higher interest charges, lower loan amounts and, sometimes, requests by the lender that they put up some form of security before a loan is issued.

Fair credit ratings are in the middle of the pack. If you fall into this category, you will find that you will have a wider choice of loans and credit cards than people in the categories below you. However, it is almost certain that you will have to pay higher interest charges than people in the higher categories.

People with good credit ratings will be accepted for most loans and credit cards that they apply for. There is a small chance that they will have to pay slightly higher interest charges. Excellent credit ratings are the ones which we all aspire to have. People in this category are almost guaranteed to be accepted for any form of credit and will pay the lowest interest rates and charges.

How to fix a bad credit score

While the immediate situation can seem bleak, it is perfectly possible to repair your credit score with time and discipline. There is no ‘quick fix’ but experience shows that people with poor or very poor scores can get back to good and then excellent within a couple of years. Here’s how they do it:

1. They make their repayments on time

Your financial mistakes will fade over time as long as you start behaving responsibly now. That means making payments on time, every time from now on. Over time, this good behaviour will start to outweigh the late or missed payments on your credit record.

2. Settle accounts

If you have got a bit of money in the bank, consider whether you should pay off a credit card balance or loan rather than splashing out on something new. This is particularly good and viewed very favourably if you’ve maxed out your cards because it will reduce your overall debt to income ratio and will have a pretty rapid effect on your credit score.

3. Get a ‘credit builder’ credit card

Some of the big banks and major financial organisations offer versions of their mainstream credit cards for people with poor credit records. You’ll hear these referred to as ‘credit builder’ or ‘credit repair’ cards and although they will come with lower credit limits and higher APRs than those offered to people with good credit records, they will allow you to quickly demonstrate financial rectitude by repaying a small amount of borrowing on time. This will be reflected on your credit record every time you make the payment.

4. Look at your credit records

It will cost you just a few pounds to get hold of your records from the major reference agencies. It’s worth doing because it will allow you to see where the problem areas are and take corrective action or to turn up any mistakes on your record. If there are mistakes, you should write to the agencies and explain them. The record will generally show your credit score so you will know how much work you have to do.

5. Take out a guarantor loan

This is an excellent way to rebuild a credit score. A guarantor loan will allow somebody who has a bad credit score to use the record of somebody else to borrow money. A friend or family member will stand as guarantor for the borrowing, becoming liable to make the repayments if the borrower slips up. As a result, the lender looks at the score of the guarantor, not the applicant, but every repayment made on time is recorded on the borrower’s record. Over time, this will improve a credit score.

Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer in the finance industry working together with technology-led finance broker Solution Loans, who were consulted over this post.

Nothing In Life Is Free, Except Annual Credit Reports

annual credit reportWhether you are just out of college trying to buy your first home or you are refinancing after your children have grown and moved out, you should have a copy of your credit score. Knowing your score puts you ahead of the creditors. Knowing that your report is free of errors and that anything negative has been disputed, gives you peace of mind.

When shopping for a credit report it can be overwhelming. Commercials will advertise free reports. However, once you log on to obtain your report there is a catch. Do not let the business of credit reports get you. You can get a free credit report. In fact, you are entitled to one.

Fair Credit Reporting Act

The Federal Trade Commission has a mandate known as the Free Credit Reporting Act. In this act you are entitled to a free credit report once a year from the big three credit companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The FCRA mentions that you should only request your credit report through

Common Requested Information

When filing for a free credit report one worry can be that you will have to give out personal information. With all the stories about identity theft this is a tough issue. Under the FCRA you will have to give your name, address, social security number and date of birth. You do not have to give a credit card number. If a site asks you for a credit card number, be aware that this is a red flag for a scam.

Many sites will say that they are issuing a free credit report when you sign up for a free trial service. However, they will ask for your credit card number at the time you sign up. If you opt for this service make sure that you read the fine print and cancel the trial before the deadline or you may get charged.

Another Option for a Free Report

Under the FCRA if you are denied a loan or application of some kind, you are entitled to ask for a copy of your report within 60 days of said action. You should receive an Adverse Action Notice which will state that you were denied credit, the reasons why and that you are entitled to a free credit report.

If you were approved for a loan, but your credit score affected the rate at which your loan was given in a negative way, as compared to other consumers, you will receive a Risk-Based Pricing Notice. If you do receive this you will find information about your score and what factors contributed to the negative risk that is associated with you as a client. Additionally, you will receive information on how to obtain a free credit report.

Some companies will send out a Credit Disclosure Notice, which will give you information about your credit score and how it was used in the approval process of your credit application.

Knowing Credit Score Factors

Your credit may change every day. Some of the items that affect your credit score are:

  • How often you move
  • How often you r payments are on time or late
  • How often creditors or banks pull your credit report
  • Whether you have disputed items

With these factors in mind it is important to know your score when you are looking for a loan or applying for a job. is a website that provides your score free. This site bases the score off of your TransUnion credit report. They will not charge for this service and you can keep an eye on your score.

What About the FICO Score?

There is one other score that may be looked at when you apply for credit or a mortgage, which is the FICO score. This score was once the do all to end all score. This is no longer the case. The FICO score is actually one of many scores that a company may or may not look at. It appears as if companies are now looking at your VantageScore, your credit report and other factors they determine in house.

When struggling with credit issues, know that you are entitled to a free credit report.

The author who contributed this article is Chase Sagum, Financial and Business blogger. Check out more of his content at