Many single mothers face the challenging task of being the sole provider for their family. You may also have a hard time paying bills on time and maintaining your cars and appliances. You can also be recovering from a divorce or in debt.
Most of you might need credit at some point or the other. You might need it for a car loan, for a mortgage, for home. Even while you apply for a job, a good credit history is required.
If you are burdened with debt, then it’s important to know a few tips to build your credit for a secure future. It might sound daunting, but it’s all about research and hard work.
But before you start fixing your credit score, you must know the factors that create your credit score.
Your FICO® credit score is based on:
a Your payment History (35%)
Your payment history makes the biggest part of your credit score. If you are always regular with your monthly payments, your credit score will be good.
b Total debts you owe (30%)
The total debt you owe would be the next prime factor that’ll contribute 30% to your credit score. You should utilize your credit as low as possible. A good utilization ratio is between 1%-15%.
c Length of your credit history (15%)
About 15% of your credit score depends on the length of your credit history. So, it is good to keep old credit accounts active such as a 10-12 year old credit card. These old active accounts really help to improve credit scores.
d New credit lines (10%)
New credit lines make 10% of your credit score. A certain number of new credit accounts may give a boost to your credit score.
e Variety of your credits or credit mix (10%)
Variety of credit accounts or credit mix you have makes 10% of your score. The more variety you have in your credit lines, the bigger your credit score will become.
1 Review your credit reports regularly
It is essential to grab a copy of your credit report and review all the details mentioned there. You should focus on finding out the signs why your credit score is significantly low.
If you find errors, you can take immediate steps to dispute it with the credit bureaus before they make a severe damage to your credit score.
If you can afford, you may opt for the credit monitoring service to be on the safer side. This habit may affect your score in a long run and within 3-6 months you may notice a better credit score.
2 Know where you stand financially
You must be aware of the amount of debt you owe to your creditors. This is the most important thing if you really want to repair your credit.
You’ll then get a fair idea of how much debt you owe in total.
3 Create a budget
You need to calculate your total monthly expenses, excluding the luxurious spendings, of course. You must be having a monthly income and child support coming every month.
You need to be sure you’ve extra money left for emergencies as well as to pay off your debts.
4 Avoid new credit offers
This option is much useful for single moms to repair bad credit. If you are trying hard to increase your credit score, you must refrain yourself from spreading more financial obligations like loans, credit cards, etc.
It is wise to avoid all these lucrative offers given by your credit card companies. So, you should refuse any offer or deals that’ll increase the total debt amount.
5 Keep a low balance in your credit card
It is one of the top credit repair tips for single moms. While you try to fix your credit score, you have to be sure that your credit cards carry balances that are 30% or below of the limits.
If currently, you have high debts on your shoulder, try to repay some of it to keep your credit utilization ratio lower. This will have a good impact on your credit report and this can definitely help in raising your score.
6 Use a credit card when you can pay the bills in full
Most of you have credit cards and tempt to use it for buying items you love, but which are not necessary. This is how we manage to acquire debt, which is actually a poor sign for your credit score.
By following this strategy, you’ll establish a perfect borrowing and repayment pattern that will reflect on your credit reports. As time passes, this number of making full payments transactions will rise and help you to build a good credit score.
7 Stay balanced
While you build credit, you need to be aware of the responsibilities that tag along with it. You need to be careful of making further payments on time and your balances are just right.
Take out time for it. Apart from that, it’s good if you can take professional help, if required.
A non-profit credit counseling agency may help you to repair your bad credit score. A professional credit counselor may provide you guidance to get back on your feet and stay balanced. Your credit score should not define your life or the life of your kids. Get as much help as possible to raise your credit score and move forward with your life.
Apart from the guidance, if you require monetary help, you can explore these options:
- Your local Department of Human Services (DHS)
- The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program can help to reduce utility bill costs
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), information on assisted housing applications and income limits
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), helps supplement a family income
Being a single mom and managing house, work, and kids, can be chaotic and very difficult at the same time. Ultimately, organizing is the key to success. A lady is capable of doing everything once she is headstrong. If you need help to create a budget for yourself, you can contact a credit counseling agency in your locality. Over time, your credit score will start looking better and better if you’re able to manage your finances effectively.