Although your bad credit score can sometimes feel like a rain cloud looming over your chances for financial freedom, there are opportunities for the sun to shine through. It’s not all bad news when it comes to your poor credit score, because despite common misconceptions, you can receive a credit card, apply for student loans, and access emergency cash. And the best part of all is that it is always possible to repair your credit score.
Credit Card Options
Applying for a credit card is a great way to build your credit, but unfortunately your bad credit score can limit your credit card options. Don’t be discouraged though, because there are multiple ways in which you can still receive a credit card despite your low score.
People with bad credit often take the secured credit card route. A secured credit card functions much like an unsecured credit, but you pay a security deposit and a monthly fee. You also will most likely experience a lower credit line, which reflects the value of your cash deposit. Only consider this option though if you can pay your monthly dues, otherwise you will very quickly rack up late charges and high interest.
You can also apply for a credit card with a cosigner who has a good credit score. It’s important however that both you and your cosigner understand that if you fall behind on payments, your delinquency will affect not only your credit score, but also your cosigner’s credit score. You won’t want to jeopardize your cosigner’s score on top of your own, so refrain from involving a cosigner if you are unable to make timely payments.
Students Loan Opportunities
Fortunately, you’re not out of luck when it comes to financial aid for higher education. Although you may not qualify for all loans, you do have options.
One option you can turn to is a private student loan through lenders such as Chase, Citibank, and Wells Fargo. In the same way that you can apply for a credit card with a cosigner, most of these lending houses will require a cosigner with an upstanding credit score. In this case, the cosigner agrees to pay for the loan if you fail to make payments. These loans are often associated with higher interest rates though, so only sign on if you understand all of the terms and conditions.
You could also apply for scholarships and grants to receive funds for school. Institutions will award you scholarships based on your athletic or academic performance, while they link grants to your financial situation and need. Scholarships and grants are more attractive options because they are monetary gifts, which you do not repay.
Emergency Loans Access
While your bad credit score will make it difficult to take out traditional loans from banks and lenders, there are bad credit loans, which can help cover life’s unexpected emergencies. Payday Loan lenders usually do not review your credit report, but they do generally expect you to repay the loan by the following payday. Failing to meet payment deadlines will result in expensive fees and high interest, so it is best to only take out this loan if it’s a one time situation, if you understand the terms of the loan, and if you are able to repay the loan.
You Can Always Improve Your Score
It’s never too late to start building your score, and because it can take years to recover from financial delinquency, it’s best to start fixing it now. Begin by repaying any debt that you owe. This may mean contacting your creditors to establish repayment plans, but be sure to demonstrate your willingness to pay back the money.
While you will want to continue using your credit cards to build your credit, use them sparingly and only for small purchases that you are capable of paying on time. In addition to paying your credit card bills on time, you should strive to pay your rent, utilities, and any other bills on or before their due dates as well.
Make a conscious effort to cut back on spending, save money, and consider consulting financial advice if your finances seem unmanageable. Bad credit is not a permanent situation, so take the time to improve it so that you can experience a brighter financial future.
Chloe Mulliner is a writer and editor for several consumer websites related to credit and personal loan options.