So where do you start? Follow these three steps to lower finance charges:
Check your credit report
Get a copy of your report from all three of the bureaus i.e. Equifax, Experian and Trans Union and go through them with a fine tooth comb. Get any mistakes you find rectified by writing to the creditor involved. If they won't help then contact the relevant bureau and provide them with a copy of all relevant correspondence.
Are all of your existing accounts in order?
Have you kept all payments up to date? Cleared all arrears and actually closed the accounts whose balances you have paid in full. You need to show future lenders that you can manage the lending facilities granted to you. Aim to reduce all loans and cards to under 35% of the original lending limit allowed. Nowadays financial institutions like to be seen as being conservative!
Don't have any credit?
If previous bad credit has left you with no accounts, you need to get one. This won't be easy but you have to fight hard. The only way you can repair and rebuild is by proving that you are now a good risk. If you have kept your bank account in good standing, then you should try persuading your local, hopefully friendly, manager to help you out. You do not need a huge limit just proof that a financial institution is willing to trust you to repay your debts. Once you succeed pay down this facility quickly and never be late or miss a payment.
Don't go applying here, there and everywhere though. Potential lenders will frown on too many new applications and you will adversely affect your score. Get FREE unbiased help and advice. Finally understand credit score numbers and how they impact on your bills. You need to repair and rebuild your credit in order to benefit from lower interest charges. Don't leave it too late, your future financial security depends on this.
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