Kevin Maher with West Palm Beach-based DebtHelper.com gives us advice.
Spring is around the corner, and while you're thinking about spring cleaning, you may be considering cleaning up your credit at the same time.
Folks who have gone through things like foreclosures or a lot of credit card debt are likely dealing with really bad credit scores. That doesn't have to be a fiscal death sentence. We spoke with Kevin Maher from DebtHelper.com.
He says there is a way to get those attractive scores back, within a reasonable amount of time. "Even within a couple of years, after a bankruptcy, I've seen scores coming back over 700 because there's been positive payment history established in the meantime and kept good."
How? "The simplest way is to actually have something good come through the bad time. Let's say you had a foreclosure but you still had a couple of credit cards that you didn't default on. You've already done the process of re-establishing. As long as you're keeping that current and you keep any new negativity from appearing, because everytime something new bad happens you're just going to knock your score back into the toilet."
You could ask your bank for a secured credit card. "You put $500 into a savings account, that money's sitting there, you're not touching it. It's still your money and they issue you, based on that deposit, a credit card with a $500 limit."
There's a certain way to handle it, however. "Take the savings account that you set aside out of your mind and just (think) you've got a credit card with a limit that you can spend up to that limit and you've gotta pay it down. If you pay it down, more money's available. If you run it up, you have less money available. It's a real credit card. And your major banks are going to actually report to the credit bureaus. And ask them, make sure they're going to report to all three."
For more information on DebtHelper.com, call (800)920-2262 or Click Here.
Debt Helper is Credit Card Management Services, Inc. A non-profit housing & credit counseling organization.