Here’s how to add up to 200 points to a credit score without paying anyone for help

Everyone with bad credit has a unique story.

A man is saddled with $6,000 in unpaid bills. A mother of nine hampered an error in her determination. A couple recovering from job loss and foreclosure. A single mother with a terminally ill child. A young woman is in so much debt that she can’t even get a credit card.

What about these people they have in common? use Free An online service called Credit Sesame to improve their credit scores – one man got 277 scores in six months. *

If you need some motivation, read these real-life stories. Chances are, you’ll find that you have something in common with at least one of them.

Next, take a look at your own score and get some personalized recommendations from Credit Sesame. It takes 90 seconds to enter your email address and register, you have to provide your Social Security number so they can find your credit file, but the site uses the same security measures as your bank to keep your information safe.

And who knows? Your story may end in this article six months from now.

He had $6000 in unpaid bills – then raised his score by 277 points

Matt Odom for The Penny Hoarder

Before discovering Credit Sesame, 50-year-old Atlanta resident James Cooper had $6,000 in unpaid bills. He never had a credit card, and his credit score was 524.

He tried his credit repair service – which promised to improve his score…for a fee. Needless to say, it burned out.

Since Credit Sesame is free, I thought I’d give it a try. Within a few minutes, Cooper was able to access his credit score, his total outstanding debts and even personal recommendations to help him improve his score.

“They showed me all that is inner and practical — how to identify ego points and cross the letter T,” Cooper said. “I applied for my first ever credit card.”

After opening a credit card, which improved his score, Credit Sesame recommended asking for a credit limit increase. This also shocked his outcome (re: credit usage).

In just six months, Cooper has watched his score increase by 277 points. Cooper is now using the lessons he learned from Credit Sesame to teach high school students the importance of good credit through his nonprofit Fedup-4U.

This mom of 9 didn’t know she had an error on her credit report

After Salome Buitureria was laid off, she struggled to find work and had to use credit cards. Bills piled up, and her credit score dropped – to 524, which is considered “very poor.”

Once she was back on stable ground, she began to focus on improving her balance. It had always been her dream to buy a home, and she knew the important role her credit score would play.

She got Credit Sesame and her debts assessed, and that’s when she found a blunder – an unpaid medical bill from when her daughter was sick that was definitely covered by Medicaid.

But here’s an unfortunate fact: One in five credit reports have errors, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Yes – you can do everything right, but the error can hold you back.

Credit Sesame showed Buitureria how to fix the error, and then she took additional steps to raise her credit score from 524 to nearly 700.

currently? She is focused on buying a home. “We want a place where the kids can come home, where they don’t have to worry, after a year or two down the road,” she says, “My mom’s got a new home. “

This man fell in hard times and couldn’t check his stomach from his points

Carmen Mandato / Benny Horder

In 2008, the housing bubble burst, and the home of Jerry and Vivienne Morgan fell into foreclosure. Not long after, Vivian lost her job.

“No one plans to be in this situation,” Jerry said. “Honestly, with the experiences we’ve been through, I was embarrassed to even check my grades.”

Nearly 10 years later, Morgan was hired for pay and the mortgage readjustment was approved. Things were getting better, so Jerry decided to finally check his credit score…it was hovering around 500.

He came across Credit Sesame and decided to give it a try. He loved how the site clearly explained what affected his credit score – and how he could improve it.

He opened another credit card (increasing his mix of accounts and lowering his credit utilization rate) and also took out a car loan when he bought a new car (which also boosted his account mix). It also helped the process of paying off this loan on time.

Within six months of scoring, Jerry has seen his score increase by 120 points. When we last spoke to him, Jerry was continuing to take steps to improve his grades and felt hopeful about his financial future.

This Single Mom Credit Card Debt And Bad Credit

Photo courtesy Melinda Smeja

In 2005, Melinda Smeja’s 13-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

“So here I am, a single mother, and my daughter is getting sick,” she said. And I’m like, ‘What am I going to do? “

I used credit cards for dinner and a place to stay. Soon, I hit my limit – 11 cards, to be exact. She had a debt of between $20,000 and $30,000. Her credit score dropped to 480.

Then I found Credit, Sesame. Soon, her crushing position made her more manageable.

“I can look and I can say, ‘Well, that’s what’s going on here. this is my religion. This is what happens. This is what makes my balance [interest] high,” she said.

And she can finally process her debts, one by one. The work was not fast. It was slow and steady – but it paid off. In 2016, for the first time, Smieja’s credit score reached 680, surpassing what lenders consider “good credit”. By late 2017, the number was up to 764.

This 30-year-old was stuck in debt and didn’t know where to go

Carmen Mandato / Benny Horder

At 30, Dana Setar’s history with credit cards, student loans, and medical bills was a tough one.

The interest on the student loan was accumulating. Hospital bills were on collection agencies. No one will give her a credit card. She got a loan for a new car with the skin of her teeth. Her security deposits for rental cars and apartments were over the roof.

She wanted to fix it but didn’t even know where to start.

Then Setar, personal finance editor, found Credit Sesame in 2016, and today she’s breathing a little easier.

It “answers all the questions in my head, keeps me up at night and threatens a panic attack every time I authorize a credit check,” Credit Sesame wrote in an article for The Penny Hoarder.

Since she started tracking her credit score with the app, I’ve watched her go up – slowly but surely – by 68 points, thanks to Credit Sesame’s recommendations.

“It makes real recommendations that you can use – step by step – to get out of a very confusing gap,” she says.

Heck, it even let her know that she could refinance her car loan and save a lot of money with interest over time. I was also able to find a credit card that she could actually qualify for.

Since enrolment, Setar has been able to make her student loan payments and is in the process of making her car payments now. Her goal is to improve her grades a little bit more so she can qualify for a personal loan to consolidate her debts.

Maybe? If you want to see how you can improve your credit score, Subscribe to Credit Sesame It’s completely free – and it only takes about 90 seconds to get started.

* 60% of Credit Sesame members see an increase in their credit score; 50% see at least a 10 point increase, while 20% see at least a 50 point increase after 180 days.

Credit Sesame does not guarantee any of these results, and some may see a drop in their credit score. Any improvement in score is the result of many factors, including paying bills on time, keeping credit balances low, avoiding unnecessary inquiries, proper financial planning, and developing better credit habits.

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