If you’re reading this page, chances are you’ve reviewed a copy of your credit report and found some unpleasant surprises. Or maybe the fact that you have bad credit is not an unexpected discovery. Either way, here are some steps you can take to begin dealing with the problem.
Repay Debts & Manage Money
If your credit problems stem from too much debt, it’s time to create a debt repayment plan. If you would like help in developing a realistic repayment schedule, contact CCCS-OC and ask for information on our Debt Management Plan.
The only way you can avoid a repeat performance of past financial problems is to change the way you handle your money. Start by analyzing your spending habits, creating financial goals, and setting spending priorities. If you’re not sure how to accomplish these things, contact CCCS-OC —our professional credit counselors will be happy to help. In addition, CCCS-OC’s Financial Literacy Education offers an educational seminar entitled Managing Your Money that can assist you in designing an effective money management plan.
Buying on credit makes it easy for you to lose track of how much you’re spending each month. To reduce your spending, try paying for everything with cash. When you pay with cash or even a check, you are forced to limit your spending to the amount of funds you have in your checking account.
Apply for Secured Credit
If you have declared bankruptcy or have had your credit cards revoked, you’ll need to find a way to prove that you can handle credit responsibly. One way to do this is to apply for a secured credit card. A secured credit card requires a specified dollar amount to be deposited with the card issuer. These funds are then put on hold and a credit card is issued with a line of credit equal to the amount you have on deposit. If you make payments as agreed for approximately one year, the creditor may then release the funds held as security and issue an unsecured card. Be sure to look for hidden fees and charges. Take time to shop around for the best interest rates and lowest annual fees. For more information on secured credit card offers, contact CCCS-OC.
Apply for Unsecured Credit
A local department store may be more likely to issue you a credit card than a national creditor. If you are granted credit, show them that you are now financially responsible by paying all your bills on time!
For Those Who Have Used CCCS’s Debt Management Plan
For individuals who have successfully completed the CCCS Debt Management Plan, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) has established a Credit Recovery Program to assist you. This program may help DMP graduates re-enter the credit market with a small line of credit from a major credit grantor. There is no guarantee that you WILL be granted credit, but participating creditors have agreed not to automatically disqualify you due to past credit problems.