Achieving a better credit score can mean qualifying for a mortgage, lower interest rate and overall better terms on a loan or credit card. If you’re wondering how to fix your credit and make yourself more appealing to lenders, there are several ways to improve and repair your credit over time. The best time to learn how to fix a credit score is now, so when you need approval for a loan or credit card, your score is already where it should be.
Rather than only looking for ways to raise your score, you may actually be in need of fixing something that’s broken. The credit system is far from perfect and because of it, millions of Americans have credit scores that make them seem riskier than they are. Fixing your credit may be exactly what you need to do.
Our guide takes you through all of the steps and options for fixing your credit. We explain ways to improve your credit score and how to remove negative incidents and errors from your credit report. What you may not realize is that errors — entries that should have never been there to begin with — are lowering your credit score considerably. Below are eight steps you can take to fix your bad credit.
Check Your Payment Status
Use “Get My Payment” to:
- Check your payment has been sent
- Confirm your payment type: direct deposit or by mail
Provide Direct Deposit Information
In certain situations, Get My Payment will give you the option of providing your bank account information to receive your Payment by direct deposit. For example, if your payment was sent by mail and the Post Office was unable to deliver it.
Use “Get My Payment” to enter your bank account information to get your payment through direct deposit.
Get Professional Advice
If you’re starting a business for the first time, you may feel overwhelmed. Government agencies, such as the federal Small Business Administration, and non-profit groups provide resources for small business owners just starting out.
Make a Business Plan
Your business plan will be the road map your business follows for its first several years. It can assess the market, estimate costs, and outline how your business will grow. A business plan may also help you acquire financing, since lenders and investors will want to evaluate your plan before they provide funding. Research and seek out advice to develop a business plan that fits your needs.
- Write a Business Plan with help from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Select a Business Structure
As you start your new business, you will have to choose a business structure. A business structure determines how your business is organized. It affects the type of taxes you pay, your level of liability, and other legal considerations. A specialized attorney may be able to help you determine which is right for you.
There are three main types of life insurance — and each has unique characteristics:
Term Life Insurance
Term life is a type of life insurance policy where premiums remain level for a specified period of time —generally for 10, 20 or 30 years. After the end of the level premium period, premiums will generally increase. Coverage continues as long as the premiums are paid. Perhaps this is an option you may want to consider when you’re on a more limited budget and will have significant expenses over a shorter period of time.
You can often pay a lower premium when you select a shorter term — say, 10 years instead of 20. But since premiums are based on risk of death, once you are outside of the level premium period, a term life policy generally gets more expensive as you grow older.
Whole Life Insurance
Whole life is permanent insurance — you’re insured throughout your lifetime, or until the policy matures, as long as you continue to pay your premiums per terms of the contract. And those premiums will stay level as long as the policy remains in force. Over time, permanent insurance typically accumulates a cash value that can be accessed for a variety of purposes while you’re still alive.
Universal Life Insurance
Like whole life, universal life is permanent insurance that may also accumulate a cash value. It offers more flexibility, though. You can tailor a policy to meet changing priorities with flexible premiums and face amounts. Universal life also offers you more control over how quickly your cash value grows.
What’s the best coverage for you?
When it comes to life insurance, there’s no such thing as “one size fits all.” Everyone has different needs, goals and financial considerations. That’s why coverage comes in a variety of forms, with a range of features you can tailor to your unique situation:
- Your family is young and growing, so you may be juggling a mortgage, auto loans and childcare costs. While your expenses may continue to expand over time, you may want an affordable life insurance policy that helps you plan for your family’s financial future until the kids are grown and the house is paid off.
- You’re more established in life. In addition to providing a death benefit to your beneficiaries, you may leverage the loan or partial surrender features of certain policies to help support things like supplemental retirement income, caring for a family member with a disability or preparing for eventual estate taxes.
- You’re single and have no children. The death benefit proceeds from your life insurance policy may help support obligations such as the costs of your personal debts, medical bills or final expenses — and may also help leave a legacy to someone you love or a favorite charity.