Credit Clean Up: Add Starter Accounts
Credit clean up can be a difficult thing to do, but if you take the right steps toward cleaning up your credit you can be on your way to a brighter, more secure financial future. One of the best ways to work on building a strong financial future during your credit clean up process is to add or refine the starter or good accounts you currently have. Starter accounts are those smaller credit or loan accounts that people with no credit are usually able to get in order to start building credit. These are often in the form of jewelry, store accounts and tool accounts. They are smaller in limit and don’t require the high level of credit that other loans, like credit cards and home loans, do. These are good accounts not only for those just starting out in their credit journey, for also for those recovering from bankruptcy and other financial set backs.
If you already have some of these accounts, you need to take a hard look at them and make sure they are not in trouble. If they are, you need to do what it takes to get them current and the balance paid. While, some accounts on your credit report you will want to close as you pay them off, like high interest rate credit cards, starter accounts you should leave open. The open, active account with a current paid balance will reflect positively on your credit report and through your credit score. You do want to use them occasionally to keep them active and in good standing, but don’t go crazy or charge more than you can pay off in a month or two. These accounts generally have lower interest and small monthly payments, but don’t let the small payments entice you into getting in over your head. If it’s a jewelry account, buy your loved one some $100 earrings for a gift and pay it off within the next thirty days. This will show you can use the account responsibly and show future lenders you can handle a loan and the responsibility that goes with it.
If you have no starter accounts, then take the time to look for one that will fit well with your current credit situation and your spending habits. If you love tools, then a Sears card should NOT be your first choice because of the temptation to max the card out and get into trouble. Instead, go for something you are only likely to use occasionally and work within the same guidelines as mentioned above when using the account. Some of the store cards have gotten more stringent in their guidelines and you may meet some resistance when looking for one. Try not to go to every store there is and apply for a card because the more times your credit is checked in a short period of time the worse it looks on your credit report and could cause the reporting agencies to think there is some form of identity theft going on.
Starter accounts are a great way to build your credit and help it recover from hard times. Take the time to research the types of starter accounts available and open only one or two and stick within the parameters listed for the best results. Changing your spending habits can be hard, but the benefits for the future are many.