Thursday 1 May 2014

Using Buy Now Pay Later Catalogs to Improve Credit Score

Millionaires Giving Money is a blog which highlights all the financial help that’s available from millionaires, billionaires and philanthropists. This blog also gives practical advice to help readers who want to improve their financial circumstances. One of the best ways to make a positive financial change is by improving your credit score. I receive a lot of emails from my readers asking about ways to improve fledgling credit scores. One way to improve and build credit is by showing financial institutions and credit reference agencies that you are worthy of credit.

Unfortunately most financial institutions are unwilling to lend money to people with bad credit. There are a number of ways around this. One option that many people use to improve their credit is Buy Now Pay Later catalogs. These catalogs offer small amounts of credit and allow the shopper to spread the cost of their shopping. These small credit accounts are great if you want to avoid payday loans. In comparison a payday loan will charge an APR in excess of 1000% whereas Buy Now Pay Later catalogs offer APR under 50%. I have outlined the exact steps you should take if you want to improve your credit score using this method. This process has helped me to improve my score dramatically.

1: Get a Free Credit Report

The first step is to get a free credit report from a credit reference agency. You can get a credit report from Experian, Equifax and Credit Online. These credit reference agencies are approved my USA.Gov which means they are reputable with up to date information. The purpose of getting a credit report is to find out what your score is so you can determine whether the BNPL catalog exercise was a success. Getting a free credit report will also help you to repair the niggling points that are depressing your credit score.

2: Fix All the Mistakes on Your Credit File

Before you try the Buy Now Pay Later catalog experiment you need to fix all the mistakes on your credit file. Make sure all the information is up to date and correct. If there are any anomalies ask the credit institute to fix the mistakes and reflect the actions with the credit reference agency. Disassociate yourselves from other people in your household who have bad credit. Pay off all the small balances and try to consolidate all your debt.

3: Find Buy Now Pay Later Catalog Companies

Now find one Buy Now Pay Later catalog companies. Do not apply to too many BNPL credit accounts as this has a negative effect on your credit score. Instead apply to BNPL accounts which have a high approval rate. BNPL catalog companies such as Fingerhut, Sears and Midnight Velvet all have high approval ratings for people with bad credit. Do not concern yourself with the low credit facility. Your purpose is to build credit.

4: Buy Items That You Need

If you use payday loans to buy items which break down you need to remove this habit. Payday loans charge excessive interest. They might be the perfect financial tool when you’re in a tight spot however these loans will make you poorer and do nothing for your credit score. When you need to buy something turn to your Buy Now Pay Later catalog to find the item. Pay for the item using your credit account. Spread the payments. Pay off all the payments on time without fail to build your credit score.

5: Make Sure You Can Afford the Payment

Another point to consider when you purchase something using BNPL is affordability. If you’re unable to afford the weekly or monthly payments you’re stretching yourself and you pose the risk of further deteriorating your credit score. Only buy items you can afford and do not take on excessive debt. Remember the purpose is to build credit not fuel retail therapy.

6: Pay More than the Minimum Payment

When you make payments you should always pay more than the minimum payment. Suppose you need to pay $50 per month for 6 months interest inclusive. You should aim to pay $55 every month. This will show the credit reference agency that you have urgency to pay off the amount quicker. This action will result in a rise in your credit score.

7: Make Early Payments

Know what your payments will be. You should have a schedule of payment along with due dates. What you need to do is make the payments two weeks in advance. When credit institutes and credit reference agencies notice quick payments reliability ratings increase. Try to put a reminder in your diary or outlook to make the payment. You could automate the whole process by setting up automatic payments from your bank account to pay 2 weeks in advance where the payment is more than the minimum required payment.

8: Call Your BNPL Credit Account

Once you’ve got a track record of prompt payment and reliability you should call your Buy Now Pay Later catalog company. Ask for a reduction in APR and an increase in credit limit. When credit reference agencies notice lower APR on the account along with higher limits your creditworthiness increases. This also increases your credit score.

9: Keep a Credit in the Account

Try to keep a credit on your account. I keep a $5 credit on my account just in case I want to buy something. Keeping a credit also shows the BNPL catalog company that you are committed to keeping the account active. This information is passed onto the credit reference agency which reflects the action by giving you a higher credit score.

10: Apply for More Credit Accounts

Once you’ve established a robust credit history with one of the Buy Now Pay Later Credit Company you can start applying for more BNPL credit catalogs. Do not apply for more than one at a time and have no more than 3 accounts. Use the other accounts in the same manner. Always consider affordability when you make a purchase.

Once you’ve established 3 accounts with robust credit history you should recheck your credit again. You should notice a significant rise in your credit score. Once you notice the rise you should apply for credit cards which have special offers and lower APR compared to BNPL catalogs. For every credit card you open you should close a BNPL account because you no longer need it. Remember having too many credit accounts can have a detrimental effect on your credit score. 


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