While on our Debt Consolidation Program, some may feel that building or repairing their credit without a major credit card is an insurmountable challenge. Here are some suggestions.
1. Maintain checking and savings accounts: While not the case before 2004, banking practices (like bouncing checks) can now affect an individual’s credit score.
2. Sign up for phone or utility services in your name: Although a security deposit may be required, your history of full and on-time monthly payments to these companies will build a pattern of effective credit management.
3. Consider a prepaid or secured credit card through a bank or credit union. Not to be confused with a debit card, these cards will likely carry regular use or deposit fees. One benefit of a secured card is that you begin developing disciplined credit habits. However, the bank may or may not report the account to the credit bureaus.
4. Consider having a parent or family member co-sign with you for unavoidable loans, such as a car. Be careful, though, not to compromise their finances. If you don’t pay, they will be held responsible.
Best wishes as you continue working to become debt free. It’s not always easy, but in the end it will be well worth your effort.
If you have any questions, would like to discuss your financial challenges, or are just looking for advice, please contact us at your convenience. As always, we are here to help you and look forward to hearing from you.