Just because you have damaged or bad credit doesn’t mean you have to get a sub-par credit card. Plenty of companies realize customers who have made past mistakes or have had unfortunate financial circumstances want to get back on track. Many banks understand that some people just need the chance. If you have damaged credit, it’s best to know your options before you start rebuilding your financial record so you can make the best decisions in order to quickly and efficiently repair your credit.
When you get a new card, don’t be lured by shifty deals offered by unknown creditors. Remember, if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Instead, stick with cards issued by recognizable companies. Some of the lesser-known issuers who try to attract people with damaged credit don’t report to the major credit reporting agencies, preventing you from establishing a good credit history. Also, many of these cards carry hidden costs and fees. Just because you have made mistakes in the past doesn’t mean you have to allow yourself to be taken advantage of. Research your options, and don’t be led into believing you have to settle for less just because of your past credit record.
Although some credit cards companies cater specifically to people with damaged credit, they’re not all the same. You can find cards without annual fees, or cards with low or fixed APRs. While it’s difficult to find cards that offer rewards, you can quickly repair your credit with cards that have good introductory packages. With introductory offerings, you can maintain a low or zero percent APR while paying off existing balances. Look for cards with balance transfers. Many are low in fees and can save you lots of money in interest rates while you pay off your debt.
When you get a new card, use the lessons you have learnt from your previous mistakes. Take this opportunity to revise your credit habits. When you get the right card card, start developing good spending habits by paying your bill off in full every month. Transfer the bills you usually pay, like your phone and utilities, to your new card and make sure that you pay on time. By showing lenders that you have changed your spending habits, you’ll be on the path to repairing your credit history.
Even if you don’t put your monthly payments on credit cards, make sure to keep your cards active! By charging even a few small purchases, like gas or gum, and paying off your bill, you’re building good credit. To lenders, this behavior appears consistent and stable, and in turn, you’ll look like a customer they’ll want to keep.
If you can’t get an unsecured card, consider one that’s secured, or prepaid. With these cards, you provide the credit card company with a deposit amount, usually half or more of your credit line. Prepaid credit cards mean you can start quickly rebuilding your credit and guarantee that you won’t go into more debt.
Although many cards are designed to help people repair damaged credit, those cards aren’t your only options. If you still have outstanding debt, there are balance transfer cards, which can help you consolidate your existing accounts. With balance transfer cards, you can get reasonable APRs, which will help while you’re in the process of paying back what you owe.
If your credit hasn’t suffered too badly, think about getting a couple different cards. The more credit you have and use wisely, the more information lenders have to report to the major credit tracking agencies. If you use one card for your regular expenses, and use another for only small purchases, you’ll build a solid credit record even quicker.
While on the road to credit repair, you need to keep in mind that rebuilding a solid credit history takes both time and work. There isn’t a quick fix, but there are proven ways to get back on track. With a little bit of research, you can begin making smart credit choices that help you return to a good credit standing.
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