The payment history of the individual can be a significant factor on their credit standing. Taking steps to make sure payments are up to date or improve the payment schedule for outstanding credit can beneficially affect their credit score. Furthermore, the amount of credit used by the individual can also play a role. For instance, if an individual is actively using large portions of the credit available to them, even if they are maintaining minimum payments on time, the size of the debt they are carrying can negatively affect their credit rating. The issue is that their liquidity may be pressured by the overall debt against them. By taking measures to reduce their overall debt load, they may see improvements to their credit profile.
Unfortunately, when your credit history is less than fantastic - because of making payments after the due date, having too many credit inquiries, or even having mistaken information associated with your identity - you'll have fewer options when you need to make a major purchase. You may even have to pay higher than average rates on your car insurance or your mortgage.
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If your debt feels overwhelming, it may be valuable to seek out the services of a reputable credit counseling service. Many are non-profit and charge small or no fees for their services. You can review more information on selecting the right reputable credit counselor for you from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Credit counselors can help you develop a Debt Management Plan (or DMP) and can negotiate to reduce your monthly payments. In many cases, you'll be responsible for only one monthly payment to the credit counseling service, which will then disburse funds to all of the accounts you owe on.
Scoring models consider how much you owe and across how many different accounts. If you have debt across a large number of accounts, it may be beneficial to pay off some of the accounts, if you can. Paying down your debt is the goal of many who've accrued debt in the past, but even after you pay the balance down to zero, consider keeping that account open. Keeping paid-off accounts open can be a plus in your overall credit mix since they're aged accounts in good (paid-off) standing. You may also consider debt consolidation.