Why Bad Credit Isn’t the End of the World

Saturday, January 30th, 2016
Updated: January 30th, 2016
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

If your credit score is in the cellar, you may feel like it’s a problem you’ll never be able to solve. Having bad credit can affect much more than just your ability to get a great rewards credit card or a low-interest mortgage. It can affect your whole outlook on life, dragging you down with it into the depths.

But having a poor credit score isn’t the end of the world. Here’s why: you can always fix your credit. And no matter how bad your credit is, chances are you can still find a credit card that will suit your needs and help you rebuild your credit, too. Read on for four reasons not to despair if your credit is in need of repair.

1. It can always get better. Look at it this way: when your credit has tanked, there’s no place to go but up. Keep these five guidelines in mind: pay your bills on time, keep the amount you owe as low as possible, don’t apply for new credit that you won’t qualify for, have a few different types of loans, and don’t close your accounts. Those are the things credit bureaus look at when determining your credit score. The most important ones are the first two—pay all your bills on time and keep your debts low. If you need help, contact a consumer credit counseling agency. These nonprofit groups have people on staff that will help you get a grip on your finances and make a plan to pay down your debts. They’ll work with you to make it affordable, and help keep you stay on track with counseling and reminders.

2. Everything disappears in time. They say that time heals all wounds, and this is true of credit scores, too. Even if you have a bankruptcy on your credit report, it will come off in ten years—maybe less, depending on the type of bankruptcy. If you work to begin repairing your credit now and don’t get any more negative information added to your credit report, you’ll be able to have an entirely new picture within the next decade.

3. There’s a credit card out there for you. If you really need a credit card—maybe you need to be able to rent a car, or make hotel reservations—there is one for you somewhere. There are credit issuers who specialize in offering cards to folks with bad credit. They may have higher fees, and may not offer rewards, but they are available if you need them.

4. You can still use prepaid and debit cards. Do you prefer plastic to cash? It’s convenient, and many people are with you in your preference. Don’t worry; even if you are having trouble getting a regular consumer credit card, you can still get a prepaid card, or a debit card. Using these cards can actually be a very good thing, when you’re trying to repair your credit score. Because they use actual money and don’t have to be paid later, they can keep you from getting into more debt that you may have trouble paying off. There are lots of great options out there for people will all levels of credit, so have a look at the options and choose one today.

All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.

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