It’s that time of year again where ghosts and goblins come out to play. Where Jack o’ lanterns and scarecrows guard houses from whatever creatures may haunt the night. And where Stranger Things appear on our television or computer screens.
But this time of year doesn’t have to be scary in all elements of our lives – especially for our finances. For some people, however, their credit score can look frightening right now. But, with a little patience and hard work, your fright can turn into delight. Here are 5 reasons why your poor credit score may not be as scary as you think:
1. Everyone Has To Start Somewhere. The first step to improving your credit score is to find out what your score is. According to a 2016 report from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), 56% of consumers said they checked their reports in the last 12 months. When was the last time you checked your credit score?
2. You’re Not Alone. Don’t be frightened if you find out you have a terrible credit score. According to NerdWallet, 20% of people have scores below 600. This doesn’t give you an excuse to continue living with a poor credit score – just know that there are others out there who need to work as hard as you are to improve your credit score. You’re not alone in this fight.
3. You Can Improve Your Credit Score With A Few Simple Changes. Many people don’t realize that they can improve their credit score simply by making payments on time, paying off some debt, and reporting rent payments to credit bureaus. These easy adjustments can drastically improve your score quickly. If anything, making these changes will help you become more aware of your finances, so you can understand what you’re doing to hurt your credit score. A study by Credit Builders Alliance showed that rent reporting led to more on-time rent payments and a higher Vantage 3.0 credit score for those who participated.
4. It’s all uphill from here. The best thing about hitting rock bottom with your finances is that the only way to go is up. Basically, any changes you make to improve your credit score will better than nothing. Sometimes, you have to get knocked down lower than you have ever been to stand back up taller than you ever were.
5. It’s Not Too Late To Fix Your Credit Score. The best time to start is yesterday… but if you missed out on yesterday, then the next best time to start is today. There is no quick fix when it comes to rebuilding your credit score. If you have a large collection of debts and bankruptcy to recover from, it might take a lot longer than someone who has made a few late payments. The difference is from months to years. However, there’s no better time than the present to start creating a better future.
Don’t let your poor credit score frighten away your dreams of financial freedom. You may have to tighten your belt and work hard for a little bit. But, as Dave Ramsey famously says, “If you live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.”