For many people, a bad credit score can be a financial nightmare. It might not seem fair that one mistake could have such long-lasting adverse effects on your life, but for many people, it does. However, there are ways to fix bad credit in Los Angeles.
If you’re in Debt and feel like there’s no way out, remember that you have options before resorting to bankruptcy. Speak with a certified financial planner or consider going into a debt management program to help you make payments more manageable and get you out of Debt Faster. Also, understand your budget—your expenses should match what you earn from work each month. If they don’t, make changes until they do or start saving money if necessary so your income goes further. Small changes over time add up and help us reach our goals. Be mindful of them! Recent studies show that setting concrete goals is better than having general ones when making progress towards what we want out of life.
For example, saying you’re going to be a good person isn’t as helpful as saying you’re going to volunteer at a homeless shelter once a month. Knowing your goals and their significance can be highly motivating, especially if you share them with someone who can hold you accountable for them. This kind of planning also helps us make decisions about our time and money—this resource is worth spending money on because I need to do X by Y date!—which streamlines our productivity and helps us accomplish more in less time.
If writing down your goals makes you too nervous, try just thinking about them regularly throughout your day instead. They’ll come up naturally as part of conversations or as something that crosses your mind as an opportunity arises.
While you might think negotiating with your creditors about your Debt is a stressful experience, it doesn’t have to be. For instance, if you have a friend or family member who works in credit collections, you can ask them for a referral to a reputable debt negotiation company. And if not, it’s still possible to negotiate by yourself through a program like National Debt Relief. That company will work with you over time to pay off your debts—and lower interest rates and monthly payments—for less than what you owe, all while avoiding bankruptcy. The whole process takes an average of seven months but could take longer depending on how much money you owe. Don’t let bad credit hold you back from starting fresh! Paying off bills early will put cash back into your pocket sooner rather than later. You might even earn some nice side hustle income along the way.
Do you have two jobs? Do you pick up extra cash babysitting or freelancing on nights and weekends? If so, utilize every penny of your income. Put a little in savings for an emergency fund, but put most of it toward paying down Debt (or better yet, to investing for retirement). Why borrow more money than you need when it can be used to get out from under high-interest Debt? Extra money—even $5 more per week—will make a big difference over time. Paying an additional $5 on credit card bills can reduce them by months (or years), potentially saving thousands in interest payments over time. It’s like having free money! And yes, that does mean paying more than minimum payments—and making sure your balance is below your limit once debits are paid off; otherwise, they’ll stack up again. Don’t forget to aim some of those dollars at building your emergency fund, too: if you lose a job or need expensive car repairs, that cushion will come in handy.