How to Take Control of Your Credit (When You Don’t Know Where to Start)
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When you have a poor credit score, it may leave you feeling frustrated and unsure of what to do to improve your credit health. I know because when I had a low credit score, I experienced some of those feelings.
After college, I had $20,000 of student loan debt, $25,000 of credit card debt, and a whole lot of stress.
It’s been a long and winding road since then but today I’m debt-free and I have a passion for helping people take control of their financial futures.
It took hard work and several years to get that debt paid off and improve my credit health, but I did it. So, I know it’s possible for you to improve your credit health too, especially because there are so many more resources available now than there was when I was paying off debt and trying to improve my credit health.
These resources can help you get there faster than trying to figure it all out on your own.
Because I’ve gone through this myself, I know that you too can take control of your debt and credit, even if you don’t know where to start.
How to Start Taking Control of Your Credit
Unfortunately, in the past, there was never a step-by-step product to help you take control of your credit. But luckily, times have changed. With the release of CreditCompass™, a product from TransUnion, you can figure out exactly what actions you can take to be in control and start to achieve your goal credit score.
There are many reasons why your credit score may be low. For example, it could be because you paid some of your bills late, or because of large debt balances, or maybe even be because you haven’t been a borrower for very long so you don’t have a long credit history. Perhaps it’s even due to a combination of these things, which is why my credit score was low after college.
No matter the reasons for your credit score being low, all hope is not lost. You don’t have to beat yourself up about it. There is a way to achieve your goal score and regain your confidence around money. CreditCompass can help.
Find a Starting Point
One of the first things you need to do is find out what your credit score is and what your credit report looks like. If you don’t know, you can’t know what actions to take to address it. Using CreditCompass means you can complete this step quickly and easily as the tool pulls in your current credit score* and information from your credit history.
After you’ve reviewed your credit history and your credit score, which you can do on your own or with CreditCompass, you’ll want to monitor them regularly to see how they change over time.
*Related: Another option for checking your credit report free is to use Experian. With Experian you can check your credit report regularly and catch signs of identity theft early.*
Set a Credit Goal
Not to be the bearer of bad news, but even monitoring your credit history and credit score regularly is not enough on its own if you want to improve your credit health.
You will have to take action if you want to improve your credit health.
As you work to regain power over your credit, it helps to set a credit goal. That’s what I did and it’s a great place to begin if you’re just starting out on your financial journey. Luckily, there are a number of products available today that can help you take control and put you on the right path, including CreditCompass, which allows users to set their credit goal within the interactive product online. The new product provides a customized path forward to help you reach your goal credit score, eliminating the need to rely on general “one-size-fits-all” financial advice that may not apply to you. It’s personalized to your specific financial situation to help empower you to get your credit health on track. CreditCompass is included as part of a TransUnion Credit Monitoring subscription.
Take Control of Your Credit Score
CreditCompass’ steps are clearly outlined and tailored to your unique situation using the VantageScore 3.0 credit scoring model, a highly predictive and trusted model used by lenders and financial institutions to assess people’s creditworthiness.
CreditCompass works by using your credit information, as well as data points from millions of people who successfully improved their score in situations just like yours over a 24-month period, to provide a personalized, step-by-step plan to help you achieve your goals based on proven experiences. Because the recommendations are customized, you’ll know what actions you can take to achieve your credit score goal.
CreditCompass can help you as long as your score is between 400 and 750.
Reaching your credit score goals will take time. There is not an overnight solution. But, no matter your circumstances, you can take control of your credit.
After your credit goal is realized, you’ll also have a better understanding of how to make your good credit work for you. If interested in how CreditCompass can help you achieve your goal credit score, you can learn more here.
Do you have debt that’s holding you down? What steps will you take to take control of your credit?
*There are various types of credit scores, and lenders use a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions. The credit score you receive and the one used for CreditCompass is based on the VantageScore 3.0 model and may not be the credit score model used by your lender.
John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.
Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.
Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.
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