Margaret was happy for her best friend and former roommate Deborah when she announced that she was buying a house. Although she was very happy for her friend, she couldn’t help but to be a little green with envy. Deborah recently applied for a home loan through her bank and was turned down due to past credit issues. When Deborah mentioned that she was approved for a home loan from her bank, Margaret couldn’t understand how her friend could get approved for a home loan and when she still owed on her student loan? Well, there is good credit and then there is bad credit.
An example of good credit is debt that helps you build equity or increase your net worth. For example, Deborah’s student loan is an example of good credit simply because having education generally means that she will eventually have higher earning potential. Purchasing a new home is also an example of good credit because as it increases in value and will add to her net worth.
Bad credits are the ones that negatively impact your financial future. Bad credit is described as financial obligations that last much longer than the item that you purchased. So, if you purchased a computer back in the 1990’s and you are no longer able to use it, that’s considered a bad credit. This also includes debts that have no return toward increasing your net worth.
So, how can someone improve his or her credit?
Maintain a good relationship with your creditors such as paying your bills in full and in on time. Also maintain a strong employment/self-employment history. Read your credit report thoroughly and check for accuracy. Before making a purchase by a credit card or loan, ask yourself whether it is good debt or bad. Will this help to increase or decrease my net worth?
Credit experts recommend that debt should not exceed 25 percent of disposable income. Too much debt can cause one to repay their debts while struggling to maintain living expenses such as food, clothing and shelter. Avoid going into debt by trying to maintain a lifestyle such as shopping binges, expensive restaurants and vacations.
Why is maintaining good credit such a big deal?
Besides being approved to buy a new car or a new house, it is important to maintain good credit should an unexpected event such as job loss or a major medical expense can put you into a financial crisis for one who’s not financially prepared. Having good credit is important in case you have to borrow.
The Good News
Just because someone has bad credit doesn’t mean that they have to stay in that position.
There are many programs to help someone to get out of debt. Having a negative credit history, does not mean a person cannot purchase a nice home, a new vehicle, or start a business. There are many programs that offer bad credit loans made especially for those who have bad credit.