Question: I'm trying to rebuild my credit. Any advice on how to get it done?
Answer: It's tough to hear reports that the recession's over when so many Americans still struggle to make ends meet. If your credit report took a beating along with the rest of the economy, here are three strategies that can help you regain a good credit score. Lenders know it's been a rough few years, so they're making second chance credit cards, secured credit cards, and balance transfer credit cards available to more consumers.
Second chance credit card
Banks got lots of bad press for subprime lending practices that contributed to America's financial crisis. However, an affordable second chance credit card from a reputable lender can help you put the pieces of your credit report back together.
Secured credit card
If your financial situation's a little more dire, you may need to put some of your own money aside to open a secured credit card account. Public Savings Bank offers a secured Visa with a flat annual fee and a fair annual percentage rate. Unlike some secured cards, Public reports cardholders' details to all three major credit bureaus monthly. That regular reporting can help boost your credit score quickly by establishing a solid track record on another trade line. Because you deposit your own cash as collateral, you're guaranteed instant approval.
Balance transfer offers
The company behind the popular FICO score recently revealed that using only 30 to 50 percent of the available limit on each of your credit cards can earn you a few extra points. Even though most balance transfer credit cards require you to pay an upfront fee for each transaction, balancing your credit portfolio can convince auto insurers and mortgage companies to lower the cost of your other bills.