The economic downturn has created the perfect storm where creditors and mortgage underwriters have tightened their lending standards. Yet, many Americans are dealing with circumstances that de-railed their good credit.
Lenders raised the credit score requirements to obtain financing in order to avoid another subprime crisis. Now consumers are finding it difficult to get approved for credit.
After being denied by one creditor, some individuals immediately apply at a different one, resulting in several hard inquiries on their credit report. Too many hard inquiries, or applications for credit, will drive down you credit score.
Know what type of credit score your lenders require before applying for a credit card or loan. If you know in advance whether or not you’re likely to qualify, you can prevent placing too many hard inquiries on your report.
Before you apply for credit, check your credit report. Submit credit disputes to bureaus if there is false or inaccurate information, especially if it’s impacting your credit score.
Improve your credit score slowly to meet lenders' requirements and secure financing at prime rates.
Create a budget to make sure you can meet your financial obligations without incurring more debt. Set up automatic bill pay with your bank or find out if your lender sends out payment reminders via text or email.
Keep your credit card balances low. Try not to use more than 30 percent of your available credit. A low credit utilization rate shows lenders that you manage your finances responsibly and are not reliant on borrowed money to meet your obligations.
Enroll in a credit monitoring service. You will be alerted to any changes made to your credit report, including new accounts or activity within your standing accounts.