A 318 Credit Score Is Low, But Its Not Hopeless

December 14, 2023 by James Hendrickson

Maintaining a healthy credit score is incredibly important if you want to achieve financial stability. While many people tend to ignore the importance of good credit until it’s too late, the truth is that a low credit score, like a 318 credit score, can prevent you from borrowing money when you need it most. Worse yet, it can negatively impact your job search, housing options, and even your ability to start a business or get a security clearance. If you’re struggling with bad credit, this post will cover some practical tips on how you can improve your 318 credit score and start rebuilding your credit history.

1. Check Your Credit Report:

The first step to improving a 318 credit score is to understand why it’s so low. Your credit report can provide you with vital information about your credit history, including any late payments, defaults, or collections. Request a free copy of your credit report from one of the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion) and carefully review it for errors or inaccuracies. If you find any discrepancies, report them immediately and have them corrected.

There are at least three free ways to check your credit.

First, the Federal government says the three big credit reporting agencies have to let you check your credit score for free. You can do that at annualcreditreport.com. Its completely and totally free.

Second, you can usually get your credit score for free through your credit union or bank.

Third, if you sign up for a Credit Karma account, you can check your credit for free. Credit karma is free service, but they’ll push credit card offers on you.

2. Pay Your Bills on Time:

The second most important factor in your credit score is your payment history. A 318 credit score implies that you’ve likely missed payments or defaulted on loans in the past. Moving forward, the best thing you can do is to make sure you always pay your bills on time. Set reminders, automate payments, or use a budgeting app to ensure you never miss a due date. Even one missed payment can significantly impact your credit score, so stay consistent and disciplined.

3. Reduce Your Debts:

Most people with bad credit struggle with high debts. If you’re carrying a lot of debt, it can be hard to make ends meet, let alone pay off your debts. The key to improving your credit score is to reduce your debts as much as possible. Focus on paying off high-interest debts first, such as credit card balances or personal loans. You can also consider debt consolidation or debt settlement services if you’re struggling to keep up with your payments.

Its easy enough to say reduce your debts, but often more difficult to come up with the money.  If you need some ideas, you can check these lists: 38 ways to stack cash on the side, and some top ways to make extra money.

4. Use Credit Responsibly:

While it may seem counterintuitive, using credit responsibly is crucial to rebuilding your credit. This means using your credit card wisely, making small purchases and paying them off in full each month. It also means avoiding overspending and only using credit when necessary. This can help you establish a positive credit history and demonstrate to lenders that you are a low-risk borrower.

5. Get Professional Help:

Improving a 318 credit score can be a long and challenging process, especially if you’re dealing with significant debts. Don’t be afraid to seek professional help from credit counseling services or talk to a financial advisor about your options. They can provide you with valuable insights and advice on how to manage your finances, reduce your debts, and rebuild your credit.

Having bad credit is also psychologically stressful, and you’re often not able to think through options in the best or most optimal way if your stress level is high or you’re experiencing chronic strain.  Getting professional help can let you better define your options and work through any psychological issues you might be having.

6. Become an Authorized User:

If you have a friend or family member with a great credit score and a long credit history, consider asking them to add you as an authorized user to one of their credit cards. This will allow you to benefit from their good credit history and can help boost your own score.

Yes, You Can Improve Your 318 Credit Score

Improving a 318 credit score may seem like an insurmountable task, but it is possible with the right approach and mindset. By following the tips outlined above and staying committed to improving your financial situation, you can start to rebuild your credit and regain your financial freedom. Remember that it takes time, effort, and discipline to improve a low credit score, but it’s never too late to start. With patience and perseverance, you can achieve a healthier credit score and achieve your financial goals.

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