According to the Wall Street Journal, 25 percent of Americans have a subprime credit score (less than 600). However, a happier economy gave Americans higher credit scores. Equifax said that in 2012, a decrease in subprime credit scores occurred in the United States.
Unfortunately, there are still millions of Americans that have bad credit. However, there are plenty of ways that you can survive in the United States with a subprime credit scores. This blog post will reveal 5 ways that you can live a good and eventful life with bad credit.
Getting Full-Time Employment
Many employers perform credit checks on applicants who apply for positions in their company. While a subprime credit score can act as a red flag for a potential employer, it isn’t always a death knell for the job applicant.
If you know that your potential employer will run a credit check, you do not need to panic. You won’t be the only applicant with a less-than-perfect credit score. If your interviewer asks about your credit, honesty truly is the best policy. Tell your interviewer that you’re working to improve your score and discuss how the process was an obstacle that you overcame.
Getting An Apartment
If you try to rent an apartment with bad credit, this could be an issue for some landlords. Some landlords may even refuse your rental application. If they decide to rent to you, you may either have to pay additional fees or will need to get a cosigner for your lease. Since the risk to a personal relationship is high, getting a loved one to co-sign your lease is not recommended.
It’s best to just accept the higher fees as a consequence for your bad credit. Consider asking the landlord if they can break up the extra fees into a couple of monthly payments. Many landlords understand that some people are in a rough spot financially. You can often get a break simply by asking.
Getting Wireless Phone Service
You probably knew that wireless providers such as Sprint and Verizon have gotten in on the credit check game. Nowadays, you can’t get a mobile phone without a credit check. If your credit score isn’t high enough, the wireless provider will ask you to pay an initial deposit.
If you don’t want to pay a deposit of up to $500, consider buying a prepaid wireless plan. Prepaid plans have gotten a lot better in the past few years. While you will have to pay full price for the phone, your monthly service will be extremely affordable. Prepaid plans from T-Mobile, Sprint, and Straight Talk can range from $30 to $70 for unlimited plans.
When you have a subprime credit score, it costs more to borrow money. You can avoid extremely high interest rates by refusing to take out loans altogether. However, some types of borrowing can help those with bad credit improve their scores.
If you have a car with a free and clear title, consider taking out a title loan. After you take out the title loan, ensure that you make all of your payments on time. When you exhibit responsible financial behavior, the credit bureaus will take note and your credit score will rise.
Getting a Higher Credit Score
This will require a lot of work in the beginning, but the effort will be well worth it. First, order your credit report from the three credit bureaus. You can get one free credit report every 12 months. Carefully examine your credit report for mistakes. Take the time to dispute any and all errors as this could raise your score if you’re successful. Once you’ve taken care of the errors, create a repayment plan for your debts. Consider calling your creditors to see if they will remove old accounts from your report. During this time, you will also need to pay your current bills in a timely manner.
Having a subprime credit score doesn’t have to equal a lower quality of life. While you may have to pay more money in the beginning and do more than your share of negotiating, following these savvy tips can ensure that you can live a financially responsible life despite your past mistakes.