Credit card misuse often leads to bad credit scores. On the other hand, using a credit card responsibly is a good way for Georgia consumers to rebuild damaged credit. Of course, getting approved for a credit card with a bad credit score is not necessarily easy. Because of this, many individuals with poor credit in Georgia opt for secured credit cards. These cards work like “regular” credit cards, with one major difference. In order to open a secured account, you must provide a cash deposit. Typically, these specialized credit cards come with higher interest rates and various fees. However, because they can serve as credit rebuilding tools, the extra cost is justifiable for Georgia residents who are serious about credit repair.
Rules for Georgia Consumers to Follow when Rebuilding a Bad Credit Score with a Secured Credit Card
Just acquiring a secured credit card isn’t enough to rebuild bad credit. Georgia residents in pursuit of better credit must use these cards responsibly in order to see positive results. So, if a secured credit card seems like the right credit building tool for you, here are some good tips to follow.
Shop around for the right secured credit card.
There are many secured credit cards out there, and they are not all the same. For example, many issuers turn the total of your cash deposit into your spending limit. Yet, others may give you a spending limit that exceeds your deposit, depending on your credit score. Fees and interest rates also vary from card to card, so it pays to shop around.
Finally, Georgia consumers who want better credit should keep in mind the fact that secured credit cards are not necessarily sure things. In fact, plenty of applicants are turned down because they don’t meet certain requirements. For this reason, make sure that you understand the qualifications before applying for any secured credit card.
Be mindful of your spending limit, and keep your balance low.
The most common mistake that Georgia credit card users make with secured cards involves their credit utilization rate. This term refers to how much of your available credit you are using at any given time. Ideally, your credit card balance should reflect 30% or less of your spending limit. Otherwise, your credit score can drop. With a secured credit card, keeping your utilization rate down is often challenging because most cards come with $200-$500 spending limits. Therefore, if your secured credit card has a $300 limit, you should only charge $90 or less before paying off your balance.
Because Georgia secured credit card holders are so limited in how much they can charge to their cards, some strategy is required. A good way to navigate secured credit card use involves using the card for one necessary expense and nothing else. For example, try paying for your gas or a particular utility bill with your card. This way, you won’t spend any extra money (other than credit card fees), but you will still have an opportunity to improve your credit score over time.
Pay off your secured credit card every month.
In spite of your deposit, most secured credit cards come with high interest rates. However, you can avoid interest charges if you pay off your balance every month. Doing this also establishes a good payment history on your credit reports. Plus, it makes it easier to keep your utilization rate at 30% or lower.
Regularly check your credit score and credit reports.
Even though opening an account requires a contribution of your own money, secured credit cards function just like unsecured credit cards. This means that any activity associated with these cards gets reported to the three major credit bureaus and shows up on your credit reports.
Any Georgia consumer who uses credit should regularly check their credit score and credit reports. For those working to rebuild a bad credit score, checking this score from time to time lets you see your progress. Then, regularly looking at your credit reports serves two important purposes. First, it allows you to catch fraudulent accounts and other signs of identity theft. Next, monitoring your credit reports gives you the opportunity to find and dispute errors that may bring down your credit score.
If, while going over your credit reports, you spot suspicious items or mistakes, call Credit Repair Lawyers of America in Georgia. As many Georgia residents already know, when you contact our firm, and experienced credit attorney will fix your credit reports for free.
Even if you are unsure about whether or not your credit reports are flawed, we can help. Just go to www.annualcreditreport.com and request free credit reports from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Then, give us a call and our credit pros will go over your credit reports with you. This service, like any that we offer, costs Georgia consumers nothing out of pocket.
The Free and Legal way to Get Better Credit
Don’t let errors on your credit reports bring your credit score down. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? All of our fees come from the defendants in settled cases. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.
Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (404) 591-6680 or sending him a message through our contact page.
For more information about Free Credit Repair, please visit www.creditrepairlawyersam.com/credit-repair-free/.