Deep in debt. Debt-ridden. Crushing debt. There just isn’t a pleasant way to say you owe more money than you’re able to pay. Unfortunately, this kind of financial situation can have a negative impact on your annual credit report. In fact, the main reason most people end up with a poor credit score or a bad credit rating is that they’re unable to pay their everyday bills, and/or, they owe money to credit card companies and lenders., A “bad” credit score is considered anything below 650, according to credit reporting agencies. This can affect your ability to get a personal loan or a mortgage. What is the average credit score? Experts say in the 670 range.
There are solutions to this cash flow problem. Here are 11 easy ways to repair your credit and earn money:
1. Consolidate your debt and consider refinancing:
- Ever wonder how to improve your credit score? Consolidation is a great way to reduce your debt and reverse bad credit. It can reduce costly monthly credit card payments, lessen interest costs, and get you out of debt in a shorter period of time. This can be done through a balance transfer, which combines all your credit card balances into a new card, preferably one with a lower annual percentage rate (APR) than you have on your current cards. This reduces your credit card interest, making paying the balance owed a lot easier.
- Taking out a personal loan to pay off debt is another way to decrease your bills and fix bad credit fast. The loan requires approval, but once the cash in in your bank account, you can pay off your balances all at once. Shop around for a loan with the lowest interest rate. You can also take out a home equity loan to serve the same purpose, if you own your home.
- Why refinance? It can reduce your mortgage interest rate, making your monthly payments lower, and puts cash back in your pocket for paying other bills. This will help you reduce your debt and improve your credit score.
2. Apply for more credit:
- If you’re currently struggling to pay bills, applying for a new credit card may not seem like one of the best ways to boost your credit score. However, using a new credit card that you only use for typical day-to-day purchases (gas, groceries), and paying off the monthly balance in full, is a good way to get your credit score up.
3. Review your credit and dispute mistakes
- If you’re wondering how to get your credit score number, go to www.annualcreditreport.com. You can review your credit and check for errors that you can dispute. Examine the list of credit cards associated with your name, make sure your social security number and the spelling of your name is correct, and check for any major purchases that you didn’t make.
- Send a certified letter to the credit reporting agency detailing any mistakes that you find. It’s a good idea to get your score from all three of the major credit score companies: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. All three offer one official free credit report a year. Credit Karma even provides free credit scores.
4. Sell some of your possessions
- Seriously, throw a garage sale or put items up for sale online. Everyone has clothing, books, DVDs, furniture, and all kinds of stuff lying around the house or storage units that don’t get used anymore. Why not rake in some easy coin by selling those unused possessions? The money you raise can be used to pay bills or reduce your credit card balance.
5. Rent out your spare room
- You know that unused spare bedroom in your house? Yeah, the one where you store all the junk you should sell, which is currently piled up on the old futon you moved from your college apartment? Clean it up, put in a nice new bed, and rent the room out using an app like Airbnb.
- People who visit your town will pay good money to stay there instead of a pricey hotel. Again, this is just another chance to earn some easy money to pay bills and get your credit score back to a healthy number.
6. Rent out your spare vehicle
- If you own a vehicle that’s sitting unused in your driveway or garage for hours every day, why not give car sharing a try and rent out your car to someone who needs a vehicle for ridesharing? The extra cash will really come in handy.
- HyreCar will allow you to earn passive income from your unused vehicle by renting it out to rideshare drivers. They even cover the insurance!
7. Rent to Own Cars and Credit Repair Program through HyreCar (in NJ/PA only)
- An excellent way to earn extra income is to become an Uber or Lyft driver. If you live in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, you can rent a car to use as a rideshare driver through HyreCar from your local Sansone Jr. automotive group dealership.
- A bonus from renting from the Sansone Jr. Auto Group is you get free access to a 4-month credit repair program offered through Reliant Credit Repair.
- HyreCar and Sansone Jr. also offer a rent to own program. You can take a portion of the money you earn driving for Lyft or Uber and put it toward a down payment on the vehicle you’re renting. It’s an easy way to eventually own your own car.
8. Negotiate with Creditors for a Less Negative Report
- If you’ve asked yourself, “Should I hire a credit repair company?”…the answer is yes. Their experts may have experience getting clients like you a less negative report from creditors using negotiating strategies you might not be aware of.
- In some cases, these companies will also take legal action against creditors or collections firms whose reporting or collection practices violate the law. Sometimes it’s good to have a team of experts on your side.
- Some creditors might even be willing to negotiate to remove a negative item in exchange for a credit payoff or to reset your account to current rather than late.
9. Sign up for a Free Credit Monitoring Service
- It’s a great way to manage all your credit and loans in one virtual location.
- You’ll get alerts to let you know of changes in your credit score and when lower rate credit cards and loan options are available. This can help you save money and repair your score.
- You can see your credit score for free every month.
- You’ll also receive tips on how to get a good credit score.
10. Ask for an increase on an existing credit card
- If you’re finding that you are maxing out your credit card too often, you can ask the card company for a higher credit limit. This way you don’t need to apply for a brand new card. However, asking for a higher limit, known as a hard inquiry, may be a red flag to the credit card company regarding your spending habits, which is normally based on your spending history.
- If you receive a higher credit limit, try to keep your monthly balance of at least 5% below the limit. That will help keep your credit utilization low, which is the percentage of your available credit you’re using. Your credit utilization percentage goes up every time you make a purchase with your card. The lower the percentage, the better your credit rating.
11. Do nothing
- You may feel like you HAVE to do something to improve your credit score, but sometimes it’s better to keep calm and carry on. For example:
- Leave your old credit card accounts alone
- Keeping old credit card accounts open, even ones that you don’t use anymore can actually help you boost your credit score. Most scoring models take the age of your oldest account and the average age of all your accounts into consideration. If you have open, paid off accounts going back many years, it shows that you’re a long-time, responsible card holder.
- Put your bills on autopay
- This allows you to not have to worry about accidentally missing a payment on your credit card.
- Leave your old credit card accounts alone
We get it. Sometimes it feels like you’re climbing a mountain of debt that never stops growing. Stay calm, go over your options, and find some ways to earn extra cash. The answer could be as simple as saving a few bucks by cooking dinner at home instead of going out to eat as much. You’ll get your bills taken care of and restore your credit rating. Mount Debt CAN be conquered. Good luck!