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The money management and spending habits that can get us into debt can also hurt our credit score. But luckily, there are some simple debt repayment habits that can help you pay off your debt and rebuild your credit at the same time, and our partners at Fairstone are here to share some of those tips.
Catch Up On Late Payments
Any past-due accounts can make it difficult to apply for credit or loans in the future. It’s important to catch up on any late payments and bring your accounts up to date. The same goes for any accounts that are in collections. Prioritize catching up on these payments, and contact your lender to see if they’ll agree to let you pay back the account on a schedule you can afford.
Pay On Time, Every Time
Payment history makes up about 35% of your credit score. Any late or missed payments are reported on your credit report, so it’s important to stay on track of payments the best you can. One or two missed payments won’t have a major impact on your credit report, so don’t worry if you forget or miss a payment one month. But, over time this can cause a serious impact on your credit score.
Here are some simple tips that can help you stay on top of debt payments:
- Set up automated payments to come out of your account on a day that’s convenient for you, like your payday, for example. The money will come out of your account before you know it, and you’ll quickly learn to adjust to the lower balance.
- Pick the right payment frequency for you. Some people like the regularity of biweekly payments, whereas others find it easier to only have to think about one payment a month.
- Choose a longer loan term – it will make your payments more affordable. You may pay a bit more interest over the course of the loan, but it’s worth it if the lower payments help you stay on track.
- Try a secured loan. Secured loans are backed by the value of your house and as a result, lend themselves to lower interest rates and lower payments.
- Create a reminder. Life’s busy, so we’re all bound to forget a payment or two every once in a while. Find something that works for you – whether it’s setting a reminder on your phone, or recording your due date on your calendar.
Make Extra Payments
Any extra payments you make are also reflected on your credit report, and this shows lenders that you proactively manage your debt. When you’re trying to pay down debt, it can be tough to find any extra money to put towards your balance. However, even an extra $10 to $20 a month can make an impact. Plus, it will also give you an incentive to make some significant changes to your budget and spending habits – whether that’s reducing your expenses or finding a way to earn more income. These changes are what will help you stay debt-free in the future.
Pay Down Credit Card Balances To Lower Credit Utilization
Is your balance way over the 25% threshold? You might benefit from a debt consolidation loan. A debt consolidation loan can pay off your credit card balance, and any other outstanding loans leaving you to make only one simple payment a month. Plus, by choosing a personal loan (or installment loan) to consolidate your debt, you’ll benefit from a more structured payment schedule compared to your credit card which is a type of revolving debt. Personal loans have a set term – at the end of the term, your debt will be paid off.
Credit card utilization refers to how much of your credit limit you’re using. Try to carry a credit card balance of less than 25% of your credit limit if you want to see positive results reflected on your credit report.
Protect Yourself By Choosing Loan Insurance or Creditor Insurance
Loan insurance can help cover some or all of your loan payments in the event of an unexpected job loss or injury that prevents you from working. Most people who are trying to get out of debt lack an emergency fund (which is why they may have ended up in debt in the first place). If you don’t have a lot of money stashed away to cover expenses in the event you are unable to work, you should definitely consider loan insurance. Loan insurance can help you stay on track with loan payments if you experience an unexpected life event.
Luckily, all Fairstone’s loans come with affordable payments and flexible payment options that are designed to meet your needs and budget. If you’re interested in a debt consolidation loan to help get your finances back on track, try an online loan quote. In just a few minutes, find out how much money you could qualify for and what your payments might be. The best part? There’s no obligation to take out the loan and it won’t impact your credit score.
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