The tumultuous shakeup of the economy just under a decade ago left a wake of bankruptcies and foreclosures. This has left millions with poor credit that are finding it difficult to obtain affordable rates on loans even today. While the economy is certainly improving, and lending requirements have slowly been loosening up the past few years, you still need to get your credit score and credit report on the right track if you want to take part in the rebound.
If want to understand reasonable expectations I will summarize some of the items you can expect and what not to assume. A common fallacy is that lenders only care about your credit score. While this is certainly an important indicator of obtaining a good rate, and overall loan qualification, it is far from the only factor. Even with blemished credit a lender will care about your recent history, length of employment, and what your overall income is in comparison to the amount you want to borrow.
A second fallacy I have often heard is that a poor credit score will forever blemish my record and inability to get a loan. This is precisely why you are looking into credit repair. A credit score is nothing more than your credit at a point in time. Again, even if you have poor credit for the time being they can certainly take into consideration your history prior to that. If you paid your bills consistently for years, but then perhaps had a medical emergency and mounting bills, that might be something they look at more favorably in your case.
Some people are afraid to shop around for better loans because it requires inquiry into your credit score. Too often they will take the first rate given to them in order to avoid too many hits on their reports. While it is true that too many random inquiries into your credit can have an impact on your score, that impact is often minimal. You might see your score drop a few points after several credit pulls, but nothing that would outweigh the benefits of tapping into cheaper lending.
Another fallacy that is surprising in this day and age is that many people believe credit scores are biased and unfair to certain minority groups. This couldn’t be further from the truth. A credit score is purely a numbers game. Only credit-related information can be used to determine ones score, and not their gender, race, or even marital status.
Knowing your credit score is the first step to improving it … now that you mention it, I really should check what it is now!