Area of Law: Credit, Debt and Bankruptcy
Answer Number: 0289
How can I repair my bad credit?Region: Ontario Answer Number: 0289
If you have a history of bad credit this will be reflected in your credit report. You will have a both a low credit score and a low credit rating, which could negatively impact both your personal and professional life in many ways.
How will bad credit affect my life?
If you don’t take steps to repair your credit and improve both your credit score and credit rating, lenders will not consider you a good risk to loan money to, will limit how much they loan you, or will charge you a higher interest rate.
Bad credit can prevent you from:
- getting a credit card,
- getting a personal loan,
- getting a mortgage, or
- receiving financing for a new car.
A bad credit score could also affect your ability to:
- get a job,
- get insurance (without paying very high premiums),
- rent an apartment,
- sign up for utilities or a cell phone (or you may have to pay a security deposit), or
- start your own business.
How can I repair my bad credit?
There are many ways to repair your bad credit, including:
- make all your payments on time
- make at least the minimum payment or, if possible, pay the full amount owed
- pay off any outstanding loans or other unpaid debts
- check your credit report and correct any errors (you can check for free once a year with Equifax and TransUnion)
- if you have no credit history, open a secured credit card account and pay off your balance each month
- reduce the number of credit cards you have (avoid high interest credit accounts offered by department stores, hardware stores, and gas companies as they are often viewed as undesirable by major lenders, such as banks)
- use different kinds of credit, such as credit cards and loans or lines of credit (as long as you can pay them off)
Once you begin to make these changes, although it will take time, your credit history will begin to improve.
If you are rejected for credit by a business or lender, find out why. Although it may be due to an error in your credit report, it may also be due to the simple fact that the creditor has higher requirements for income or credit scores. Repairing your bad credit could go a long way in helping prevent this in the future.
For more information on credit reports and improving your bad credit, visit canada.ca.
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