If you have ever had bad credit in Kitchener, you might be wondering what you can do to improve your score.
There are plenty of old wives tales and rumours around how to go about this. Do you close all your credit card accounts? Do you open more? DO you just give up because there is no chance of ever improving your score?
Plenty of people have managed to go from subprime credit to the high 800s both on their own and with the help of others. There are even companies that specialise in helping you to repair your credit.
But is credit repair free or does it cost you something?
There are several different ways of going about repairing your credit, some of them free, some of them not. Check out our complete guide to the costs associated with credit repair below!
What is Credit Repair?
Firstly, we should talk about what exactly credit repair is and why it matters.
Credit repair is the process of taking directed action to improve your credit score after suffering negative events in your credit history. Things like late payments, missed payments, defaulted loans, many credit enquiries, and declaring bankruptcy, can all cause significant damage to your credit score. Any one of these events can send you from a relatively ok score to the bottom of the barrel in a few short months.
The problem with having bad credit in Kitchener is that you may struggle to be approved for any line of credit, certain rental homes, or even some jobs. Many applicant approval processes involve some level of credit score checking, and when a potential lender, landlord, or employer, sees a bad credit score, it can draw into question the financial responsibility of the applicant.
Thus, it is generally advisable to look at ways to repair your credit in order to access better financial options in your future.
Who does Credit Repair?
So now we understand what credit repair is and why it’s so important, it’s time to talk about who exactly carries out credit repair.
As mentioned earlier, there are two main parties that contribute to credit repair. Either you can attempt to repair your bad credit in Kitchener yourself, or you can hire a credit repair company to do the hard work for you and attempt to solve various issues on your credit file. Which one is best for you will depend on your specific negative events in your file and how comfortable you are with your finances.
The first option is attempting to repair your credit yourself.
This is by far the cheapest and simplest option, as it is essentially free. There are many different things you can to do attempt to repair your credit score that don’t necessarily cost you any extra money, such as:
- Paying down credit card debt – clearing as much debt off your credit cards as possible will certainly improve your credit score. Aim to use only 30% or less of the total limit on all your cards at any given point.
- Make regular, on time repayments – on the credit accounts you do have, such as a mortgage or bad credit car loan in Kitchener, ensure you are making on time repayments every month. This will build your credit history and bump up your score.
- Don’t close unused credit accounts – If you have credit accounts that have a zero balance and aren’t costing you too much in annual fees, consider keeping them open. They will help you keep your spending to below 30% of your total approved credit limit.
- Write a goodwill letter – if your credit score has suffered due to an innocent error on your part, like forgetting to pay a credit card bill in time, you might benefit from writing a goodwill letter to your credit provider and asking them nicely to clear the entry from your credit file.
All of these things can be done for “free”, in that you do not have to spend any extra money to do these things. You’ll still have to put money towards your debt every month, but every payment is bringing you closer to being debt free and having a credit score you can be proud of.
Credit repair companies
The second option for repairing bad credit in Kitchener is by employing the services of a credit repair company.
Credit repair companies are businesses that specialise in having negative events in clients’ credit histories expunged by understanding the nuances of the financial system and by leveraging their relationships with different banks and lenders. They can identify entries on a credit file that don’t need to be there, and contact the credit provider to have them remove it.
Care should be taken when dealing with these companies, as ultimately they are there to make money. Their services do cost extra, on top of making your regular credit payments, so if your financial situation is already tight they might not make the most sense for you. The last thing you want to do is dig yourself further into debt to pay for a credit repair company that will actually end up hurting your credit score.
How much does credit repair cost?
Understanding the cost associated with credit repair is crucial in determining if it is right for you.
Attempting to repair your bad credit in Kitchener by yourself is, for the most part, free. You do not have to pay to write a goodwill letter or make regular, on time repayments. Improving your credit will be an extra benefit of merely repaying your debts on time. If you need a car quickly but your credit isn’t where it should be, taking out a bad credit car loan in Kitchener can be a great way to improve your credit score without having to do anything extra. By simply repaying your loan every month at the agreed upon date and amount, your credit history will steadily improve, and your score will increase on its own.
If you decide to go with a credit repair company, ensure you have them tell you all of their costs and fees upfront. Their services can easily cost $100 or more per month, and often have a bunch of hidden fees and charges. Ensure you can have them outline clearly exactly how much it will cost you, whether you are locked into a contract with them, and if there are any kind of guarantees or refunds.
How long does credit repair take?
Understanding how long to expect credit repair to take can help you avoid disappointment.
Improvements in credit scores are much like training muscles at the gym – it takes time to see results. Your credit history is one of the largest contributors to your credit score, and it is typically only updated once a month. Thus, if you were making on time repayments on your credit accounts, you would likely have to wait for at least a year to see any significant improvements.
Short term gains can certainly be achieved through some means. Your credit utilization ratio refers to how much credit you use compared to how much credit you have been approved for. For example, if you have spent $1,000 on your credit card and it has a limit of $2,000, your credit utilization ratio would be 50%. By ensuring that your total credit utilization ratio and your per card ratio are 30% or lower at any given moment, you can reliably improve your credit score every month.
However, if you let it creepy higher than 30%, you might notice a dip in your score. The good thing about this particular aspect of your score is that it is updated every month, and does not take into account the previous month’s ratio. This means that if you correct your ratio before the reporting date the following month, your score will recover and possibly even improve some more.
Having certain records removed from your credit file is another good way to get a quick boost in your score. You can try to do this yourself with a goodwill letter, or you can employ a credit repair company to do this for you. If you are successful in having the entry removed, you should see an improvement in your bad credit in Kitchener.
Be wary when dealing with credit repair companies that promise improved credit scores in shorter time frames. The only way to sustainably and effectively increase your score is making good decisions over an extended period of time.
What can I do with better credit?
Now that you understand how to improve your credit, you might be wondering what exactly you can do with a better score.
As mentioned earlier, your credit score plays an important role in getting approved for any kind of credit account, including personal loans, credit cards, mortgages, and car loans. Some landlords will even request to see your credit score to determine your financial reliability, and some employers might ask to see your file to see if you are solvent and responsible. Your credit score will also be directly tied to what interest rate you are offered with your credit account.
Having a good score opens up huge possibilities both financially and personally. With a higher than average credit score, you can expect to be approved for almost any credit account you apply for (assuming no other mitigating factors come into play). You will also likely be offered the best interest rates on the market, as different lenders compete for your business and are willing to be competitive with their rates. A rental application with a good credit score can also help your chances when applying to rent a new home, as it is a good sign to the landlord that you will be able to make your rent payments. If you are applying for a job in the financial industry, a good credit score can tell your employer you know how to handle your own finances, which will give them confidence you could handle theirs or their customers’ finances too.
Improving your bad credit in Kitchener is a time consuming task, but the rewards are well worth the effort if you are looking to have the brightest financial future possible.
Bad Credit Car Loans In Kitchener
Did you know that taking out a bad credit car loan in Kitchener can actually help you improve your credit score?
It may sound counterintuitive, but using your car loan as a means to rebuild your credit history is actually a great idea. Kitchener Bad Credit Car Loans specialises in getting subprime credit applications approved with Canada’s largest banks at the lowest possible interest rates. We negotiate on your behalf and don’t take “No” for an answer when it comes to getting your application through. We even deliver your new car to you anywhere in Ontario, completely for free!
By making regular, on time repayments to your bad credit car loan, your credit history will gradually improve. After 12 months of good payments, your credit score will likely have improved significantly. We offer a free service to renegotiate your car loan with our extensive network of lenders to secure you an even better interest rate based on your new score. It’s just another way we are committed to being the be bad credit car loan company Kitchener has to offer.
Are you ready to improve your credit score and get on the road at the same time? Contact our team today and see how we can help you.