Do you know what is considered bad credit?
As many as 50 percent of South Africans may have bad credit. However, many of them aren’t aware that they have it. After all, bad credit isn’t the same as terrible credit. You might feel like you’ve done everything right, but still have a score below the cutoff point for bad credit.
What is bad credit, and how can you fix it? In this guide, we’ll give you the answers you need to raise your credit score – keep reading to learn more.
What is Considered Bad Credit?
A low credit score means you have bad credit – but what does that score really mean?
Credit basically refers to how much trust lenders have in you to repay money you’ve borrowed. Bad credit usually means you’ve failed to keep up with prior payments, so it’ll be harder for you to get approved for credit. You may not have made payments on time in the past, or you might have even missed payments.
Other public records get factored into your credit score, too. Past bankruptcies, legal judgments, and tax liens can all have an effect.
A credit reporting agency or credit bureau gathers all of this history to create your credit report. Every agency has a different report, and your scores might be slightly different at the different agencies.
The Problem With Bad Credit
After you have a bad credit score, it’s hard to get approved for credit to build your score back up. Lenders won’t want to lend to you, because they’ll think you may not pay back your loans.
You might get credit applications denied. But even if you get one approved, you’ll be borrowing at a higher interest rate than if you have a good score. The lender uses the higher interest to make up for the perceived risk of lending to you.
Bad credit can also affect your insurance rates, and even the cost of your utilities and phone bill. Providers might charge you a security deposit if you have bad credit when you try to open an account with them.
What To Do About Bad Credit
Now that you know what is considered bad credit, it’s time fix yours.
You have to start by knowing what is bad credit. Next, you need to know your score.
If you’re organized with your finances, you might already know where your score is. But if you don’t, you should request a copy of your credit score, and make sure to get a copy of what’s actually reported on the credit record.
Check for mistakes, such as an account with good payment history that didn’t get recorded. When you get your report, you can pinpoint what’s causing the issues with your score.
Next, start taking steps to fix those problems with your score. After you’ve corrected the mistakes, work on making your report more positive by never missing a payment and adding new accounts as needed.
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