Improve Your Credit Score During the Pandemic

With the detrimental effects of the coronavirus spanning worldwide, financial security is at the forefront of most people’s minds. That’s not to say it’s not without good cause. Global supply chains have been impacted and had a rippling effect on the economy causing financial suffering across the board. With all of the uncertainty, it’s even more important to do what you can to maintain or improve a good credit score

Credit Scores

Your credit score is an overall picture of your creditworthiness. It takes into consideration such factors as your payment history to creditors, your overall debt, and the number of inquiries on your credit report. 

If you have a good score, it’s easy to rent or buy a house, and get loans for other big-ticket items. If your credit score isn’t great, everything becomes more difficult. 

Reduce Debt to Increase Your Score

Consulting experts can help you get your debt under control. Oftentimes, by consolidating the money you owe, you can free up additional money by savings on numerous variable interest rates as well as higher, individual minimum payments. 

Paying down your debt, especially from credit cards, will help you increase your credit score. Remember, this can be a slow process. You can try things like using your stimulus check or income tax refund to pay down debts faster. By visiting sites like Westernshamrock.com you can get tax help, which can boost your refund amount. 

Coronavirus Relief

Many companies are recognizing with all the changes and layoffs during this pandemic, money problems are becoming more prevalent for more people. In light of such difficulties, many creditors are willing to extend some relief, but you have to reach out to them and see what they are able to offer you. 

Many lenders are increasingly flexible with repayment options because they understand the problems the pandemic is creating for so many people. Once you realize that making timely payments is going to be an issue, contact your creditor before you’re actually late with your payment. 

Some of the flexibility lenders are offering ranges from lower interest rates to reducing the amount of your minimum payment. Just as you don’t want to be behind in payments and possibly default on payments altogether, your lenders don’t want to face potentially having what you owe them written off.

The most important thing to remember is, if you don’t make contact and find out how they’re willing to help you, you risk lowering your credit score and having the account being sent to collections. Making minimum payments, affordable payments, even 29 days overdue, will still show a timely payment history. 

Like your creditors, the same applies to other financial obligations. If you are also struggling to make payments to utilities and other service providers, like cell phones, see what they are able to do as far as payment accommodations before your services are turned off. 

Rebuilding Credit

The good news is, if your credit score has dropped due to delinquent payments, all hope isn’t lost. You can take steps to make a rebound and increase your credit score. If you are delinquent on payments, take steps to improve your payment history. 

Your credit report will not report late payments until the account reaches 30 days past due. So if you need additional time to pay, you can make the minimum payment up to 29 days late without it adversely affecting your credit score. Keep in mind, making late payments, you will still be responsible for any late fees that may be assessed. 

Budgeting 

Evaluate your budget. Oftentimes, you don’t realize where or how you’re overspending because you aren’t following any type of budget and/or you’re not aware of where your money is going. By doing this, you can see where extra money is being spent that doesn’t have to be. For example, are you used to eating out or finding yourself ordering takeout a few times a week? Work out how much money you could save by preparing meals yourself instead of relying on the convenience of eating out. 

Get a copy of your credit report. If you know the information contained in your credit report, you know where you need to focus your attention to improve your score. It is also a good idea to make sure everything in your report is accurate; especially with the increase of identity theft and fraud. 

The pandemic is affecting many people and their financial situation. Take advantage of any and all help that is available to you to keep from digging yourself out of a deeper hole later. 

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