April 17, 2013

Fix Your Credit, Fix Your Love Life


Almost everyone has been there at one time or another— in the unfortunate situation of having to live with bad credit. But bad credit doesn’t have to ruin your dating or social life, if you take steps now to minimize the damage and maximize the opportunity to improve your credit profile.

How, you might ask, does bad credit impair your sex appeal? By making you a financial pariah, that’s how. People don’t want to date someone with the financial equivalent of an STD. These days, a bad credit score is enough to send a potential partner running for the hills. Much like a sexually transmitted infection, bad credit can be contagious, particularly when settling down with someone who has it. Marrying a person with bad credit immediately becomes an issue for both partners.

Being aware of the seriousness of bad credit is the first step in rehabilitating your credit profile. Then, you can take steps in your every day life to get back on the financial track.

Transportation 


You have to buy a better car if your current one is unreliable. After you research which car would be right for you, start your research on used car lots in your area that offer special financing for customers with poor credit scores. Making regular, on-time payments on a loan is a great way to rebuild your credit score. The process of qualifying for a loan for a used car is easier and less expensive than trying to get a loan for a new car.

Organize Your Debt


Don’t worry (too much) if you have late payments, repossessions, collection attempts, settlements or a bankruptcy on your credit report. Another step in making yourself more creditworthy (and as a result, more attractive to prospective dates) is resolving to remove whatever negative activity you can from your credit report. Some activity, such as bankruptcy, must stay on your report for years. But there are ways to improve your credit report. You might not even realize some of the things that are on your report. Look for “unpaid” debts that you know you paid, accounts that were included in your bankruptcy filing that are still listed as “past due,” duplicate listings of collections for the same debt, any collection accounts that don’t indicate dates and those that aren’t even yours.

Communication


The advantage of doing the work online is that there may be less chance of something getting “lost” in the mail, and things may get cleared up quickly. Still, if you do work on cleaning things up primarily online, print every piece of correspondence. You must give yourself the backup protection of having all online communication in print.

The need to have everything in print and on paper gives credence to the snail mail approach, too. Many creditors and agencies will ask you for written agreements, a certified mail process and signatures. You will often want the same from them. If all this is new to you, you may choose the regular postage mail way to not miss any surprising requirements.

Bad credit is nothing to be ashamed of, especially in this economy, when you’re young and trying to find your financial footing. But cleaning it up as quickly as possible will improve your life more than just financially.