Tempted by a Credit Repair Company in Guelph? How to Do Better for Free
Some credit repair companies in Guelph are trying to sell expensive services that often saddle people with more debt and don't provide many with the value they'd expect to receive. On top of this, when some people aren't able to make the payments on their new credit repair loan, the credit repair company can send the loan to collections which puts these people in jeopardy of having worse credit than when they signed up for the program. While this may be unsettling, there is some good news. In Guelph you can repair and improve your credit for free – and often get better advice and more one-on-one help than a lot of credit fixing companies provide. Keep reading and we’ll show you how to do this.
Credit Repair Services, Companies & Agencies – Pay Less Interest & Fees to Fix or Improve Bad Credit
The goal of credit repair services is to help each of their customers improve his or her credit score. The primary way many of them do this in Canada is by providing credit building loans. The idea is that this loan will create some new good information on someone’s credit report, which shows the credit scoring system that this person is able to borrow responsibly.
While this approach no doubt helps a fair number of people improve their credit score, in our opinion, these companies don’t offer it because it’s the best way to fix or repair bad credit. They offer the loan because it's the most lucrative for them. A credit building loan ensures they can charge you interest and fees over several years. But you need to know something: there is a better, cheaper, and more effective way to improve your credit.
Advantages of a Cash Secured Credit Card Versus Credit Building Loan to Improve, Restore or Fix Your Score
The faster and better way to fix, improve, or restore your credit score, compared to a credit rebuilding loan, is by getting a cash secured credit card. The way they work is you put down as much money as you would like your credit limit to be. Some cards require as little as $250 or $400 to get you started. They then function as a normal credit card.
Cash secured credit cards have a number of advantages over credit rebuilding loans. Here are four of the biggest:
- As a revolving type of credit, a cash secured card will improve your score faster than a loan as long as you don’t carry balance equal to half of your credit limit or greater.
- Most credit repair loans have fees and interest that you pay monthly with your payment. A secured credit card only has one yearly fee, and you don’t have to pay any interest if you pay off what you owe every month in full.
- It is much easier to afford because you don’t have to create some room in your budget for a monthly loan payment and/or a service fee. You can instead use your card to pay for something that you've already included in your monthly budget: gas for your vehicle or a monthly transit pass. You can then pay off your card balance in full when you receive your bill. You don't end up spending anything extra since you were likely going to buy the gas or transit pass anyway.
- With a loan, if you get laid off, if your hours at work are reduced, if you get injured or become sick, or if your income drops and you can’t afford to make your loan payments, then your loan would be sent to collections. Your credit score would be damaged again/more and you would have more stress in your life. However, with a cash secured credit card, if you don’t use it, then you don’t have to pay anything. If your life hits some bumps in the road, your credit will continue to improve, and there won’t be any additional problems that a loan-based credit rebuilding program could cause.
In short, a cash secured credit card is a far better way to rebuild your credit or give your score a boost. Just make sure that when you use it, you always make at least your minimum monthly payments. If you miss a payment, the credit card company won’t take the monthly payment from your cash secured balance. You will still need to make it and not making the payment will hurt your credit. If you miss a number of payments, the credit card company will close your card and give you your cash security back after deducting any money you owe them.
Another great advantage of a cash secured credit card is that you don’t have to use it much. All you need to do is use it once every few months or so to keep the card active and never use more than 50% of your credit limit (doing this will negatively impact your credit). We would also recommend that you always pay off the card balance in full every month and never carry a balance.
As your finances improve, you may also want to consider increasing your credit limit to between $1,000 and $2,500. This may require a larger cash security deposit from you, but having more credit available to you and not using it will increase your credit score even more.
Here is a government list of a bunch of secured credit cards. Just select your province and then you can compare the cards. Here is another list with a few more cards that aren't included on the government's list.
If you’re wondering where you’re going to get the money for the cash security on a card, here are a whole bunch of ideas of places where you could possibly find the money.
What You Need to Watch Out For
To make more money off of you, some credit repair companies and agencies also promote certain debt relief programs and services. If you are struggling to pay your bills and debt payments each month or have some bad debts you need to deal with, then some sort of debt relief option may be very helpful for you. Just be aware of these three things:
- Every debt relief option (there are 5 of them in Canada) has as many disadvantages as it has advantages. If they didn’t, then everyone would be signing up for one of these programs. The key is to find the debt relief option with the right advantages for you and disadvantages that you can live with. Beware of anyone who pitches a debt relief program to you and focuses too much on the positives and doesn’t spend much time making you aware of the negative aspects of the program.
- If the person trying to sell you a program earns commission off of you signing up for the program, then they may have their financial best interests at heart and not yours. The fewer options their company offers, the more often this will be true.
- In Canada, there is always more than one way to improve, restore, or fix your credit, and when you look at debt relief options, there are as many as 5 of them depending on your province: the debt management program, orderly payment of debts program, a debt settlement, a consumer proposal, and going bankrupt. So if you're left with the impression that the person or company you are working with isn’t fully exploring all of your options with you or is promoting a particular one over the others (or isn’t even saying much about the others), then you'll probably want to get a second opinion from a professional who will be more objective in discussing the advantages and disadvantages of all your options with you.
Top Credit Score Tips to Improve, Restore, or Fix Your Credit – How to Do It Yourself for Free
You don’t need to pay anyone on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis to help you improve or restore your credit score. We have all of the essential credit score tips that work right here – for free. Take a look. We’ll show you the ways you can fix your credit quickly along with the most effective methods which do, however, take more time. After you’ve done all this, we can then show you how to get an extremely high credit score. If all this isn’t enough for you, if your situation is complex, or if you’d like some specific help and guidance, there are financial experts near you who have expertise in helping people with bad debt – and they’ll typically help you for free!
Where to Get Free Individual Credit Help in Guelph to Fix Your Bad Credit Rating
Free Advice and Guidance from Non-Profits in Your Area
One of Canada’s best kept secrets is that some of the most helpful experts for fixing bad credit and completely repairing credit ratings are non-profit Credit Counsellors in Guelph. They offer no cost, confidential appointments (either in-person or over the phone). If you’re having money trouble or difficulty paying your bills and debts, they are the best people to give you guidance and information about how to get back on track. Whatever you talk to them about is absolutely confidential. Don’t be embarrassed if you think your circumstances are awful. They won’t judge you. They’ve probably seen much worse. Click here to find a local non-profit credit counselling agency in your area.
How to Get Free Credit Score Repair Help in Guelph from Your Bank or Credit Union
The lender at your financial institution, or the mortgage broker if you applied for a mortgage, is a good person to talk to about your credit rating. You might have been declined for a loan. Instead of being embarrassed, use it as an opportunity to figure out how you can best get your financial situation back on track. If you get declined for something you’ve applied for, e.g. a loan, line of credit, or mortgage, the lender is allowed to tell you why. And if the explanation doesn’t make sense, get them to explain it again. Finally, ask them what you should do to get a better credit score and overall credit rating so that you’re not declined next time.
How to Get a Copy of Your Credit Report for Free
If you haven’t seen a copy of your own credit report and want to find out what it really looks like, you can get a free copy of your credit report. It doesn’t, however, include your score. For that you’ll need to pay either Equifax or TransUnion, the two credit reporting agencies in Canada (they charge between $15 and $25). If you’re okay with just an estimate of your score, you can use this tool for free. The neat thing about this online tool is that you can change your answers to the questions and see how certain factors affect your score. This type of interactive information isn’t usually available, let alone for free, and certainly not from paid credit repair agencies.
Save Your Money, Fix or Do Your Credit Repair Yourself – That’s What it Comes Down To
So if you live in Canada and are seriously thinking about finding a credit repair company to help you repair or improve your credit, we think you’d be far better off doing it yourself. Get a free copy of your credit report (and your score if that’s important to you right now). Speak with your banker or a credit counsellor for guidance. Consider getting a cash secured credit card if your banker or credit counsellor recommends it. And follow the suggestions we’ve laid out here as well as the guidance provided in the resources we link to from this page. Credit repair ultimately takes time and patience, but by taking advantage of the resources we point out here, your credit should be re-established and improved as quickly as is possible and you’ll save a lot of money in the process.