How To Rebuild Your Credit in 6 Simple Ways - MumsVillage

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How To Rebuild Your Credit in 6 Simple Ways

When my wife and I decided to get married, we made up our minds on having a big white wedding.  We had always wanted a royal theme and because weddings only happen once, we took a personal loan.

That loan (and Pinterest board!) helped us get our dream wedding that our friends still talk about and a vacation in Zanzibar where my wife had always wanted to go. We decided to spend  the first two years afterwards paying off the loan. No big deal, right? Wrong!! Two years down the line, we still had not managed to pay the loan and we were deep in  debt. While I never regret having a big wedding, I do regret not planning for it earlier.

While personal loans enable to you to enjoy experiences, remember that they earn interest. If you get into debt like I did, you can rebuild your credit in 6 simple ways. It takes discipline but it is not  impossible – let’s dive in on how to do this:

 

1. Proactively Manage your Creditors

Creditors are people just like you and me and appreciate cooperation. Contact your creditors and  explain your situation upfront. From there you can get their advice to then proceed to arrange for a payment plan including method, date and amount included. If you have had a good credit score  before and this is your first debt, ask for leniency and come up with a plan that you know you can  deliver on.

 

2. Make the Payments on Time

Now that you and the bank have come to an agreement on the payments, pay them on time. It is of  most importance to make sure you keep your word and deliver. When it comes to your payment  history – the ability to ​make payments on time​ makes about 35% of your credit score.

 

3. Cut back on Expenses

You will need to develop a budget that includes the debt repayment and account for every shilling.  Cut back on miscellaneous expenses and let that money go to the creditors. Netflix, eating out and a few beers after work may be how you bond with with your pals but you’ll need to give that a rest  or reduce frequency. If possible, join table banking or ​chamas which, by the way, are not just for  the ladies​.​ With ​chamas ​ it is easier to save extra or loose change especially when tightening your  belt.

 

4. Have a Good Credit Mix

I have a lot of friends who are newlyweds (and some new parents!) and most of them think that all  credit is the same. However, I’ve learned that this is not the case and it is important to have a mix of installment and revolving credit. Installment loans are payments that are fixed such as car  payments, installment loans and personal loans while revolving credit is credit that changes; retail  cards and credit cards. Revolving accounts affect your credit the most so ensure that those are the ones that are attended to (and kept low) first.

 

5. Credit Usage/Utilisation

This is based off of revolving credits (Credit Cards, Retail cards). Credit utilization should not  exceed 30-35%. In layman English, what this means is that if you earn Ksh 30,000, then you should  have credit card debt of Ksh 9,000 or less in any given month.

 

6. Authorized User

Adding a user with good credit on your credit profile will increase your scores. It should be  someone who has good credit you trust (like your wife I hope).

 

What I learnt the most from my experience is:

First, start saving early (even a year) for big purchases so that your personal loan is a size you can  manage to pay off! I cannot stress this enough.

Secondly, instead of taking a loan try the savings approach. I wished I had saved up to cater for my  wants. Now I know how important it is to save for the goals and the milestones that you can see in  the horizon; your marriage, a house or even college tuition.

Finally, it is best to set automatic transfers once you receive any amount of money into your  savings account. This way the bank saves for you and saving is not as hard anymore.

At the end of it all, keep reminding yourself that you can do it!

 

You may also like: How To Make Your Money Work For You

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