Whether you are buying a home, car or other big purchase item, the first thing a lender will look at is your credit score. Before applying for a major loan, it is important you know where you stand with your credit score. Many people believe that the only way to establish and build credit is by opening and using a credit card.
Here are a few alternatives to help you put the plastic away and establish good credit.
1.) Ask companies to report on your behalf. If you have recurring bills that you pay on a monthly basis (i.e.- rent, utilities, cell phone, etc.) request that these providers report your payment activity to the three major credit bureaus- TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Of course before you do that, make sure you have a responsible/on-time payment history. Payment history accounts for 35 percent of your credit score and can have significant impact if there is not a lot of other data on your credit report.
2.) Become an authorized user on another credit card. Do this ONLY if the cardholder has a strong credit background. Signing on as an authorized user will enable you to piggy back off their stellar credit.
3.) Open an account with a credit union and take out a small personal loan. Credit unions typically offer financing options at lower interest rates than traditional banks. To give your credit score a boost, apply for a small personal loan. If denied, inquire about a secured loan-where a certificate of deposit or savings account- will be used as collateral. This request will likely be approved because the risk in minimal on the lender’s end.
4.) Apply for an installment loan. These loans paid in a timely manner over an extended period of time build your credit score because they show creditors that you are a responsible borrower.
5.) Federal student loans. A credit check is not required to obtain a federal student loan. Since it is an installment loan, it can help boost your credit score. Aim for one that is subsidized and deposit the money into a safe interest-bearing account so the funds will be available when repayment starts.
6.) Peer-to-peer loans. Companies like Prosper and Lending Club offer peer-to-peer loans, where borrowers are connected with individual investors. The interest rates are low and these lenders report to the major credit bureaus.
7.) Try an alternative credit score. Check out Payment Reporting Builds Credit (PRBC), which helps consumers create a nontraditional credit score, an alternative to the big three credit bureaus.
If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.