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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Shortcuts to a Better Credit Score-Even With Dinged Credit


Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…

ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources


“Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people that they don't like.”
Will Rogers



Shortcuts to a better credit score-Even with crappy credit


   Whether you’re seeking to buy or rent a new home or auto, get a credit card or even a higher paying career, your credit score often pays an important role in determining the rate you pay so it is important to know your score and the resources you have if you need to do some repair work.


Start by going to, it is the only website authorized by federal law to provide the free credit report you are entitled to…almost all others have strings attached.  Stagger your reports for each of three major credit bureaus so you get one free report each quarter [Equifax, Experion, and TransUnion]. 


Mistakes are common to all three reporting agencies. Recently, an insurance carrier of mine said I had late payment on a credit card.  Ironically, I haven’t used a credit card in ten years and double checked my credit report and nothing showed up. [Nor have I had any late payments].  When I presented a copy to my insurance carrier, they lowered my premium. 


This annual credit report provides a snapshot of your credit history, but not your FICO score, the 3-digit number from 300-850 [an arbitrary system they’ve devised] that reflects that history.  If you apply for a loan, the lender will disclose your score.  [In my case, not having any loans or credit cards gives me an adverse score]…or you can purchase it for $19.95 at


There’s more to good credit than paying off balances on time.  Often, people, like myself, who pay everything on time don’t have scores in the top-tier range because they have a high balance to limit ratio.  If your limit is $300 and your balance is $295 every month every month, you’ll get docked for that.  You want to use 30% or less of your allowable limit.  Asking your credit card company to raise your limit so you’re using less available credit will raise your score fast.


Rebuilding Damaged Credit


Years ago I wrote a best-selling manual [now out of print] called Shortcuts to AAA Credit-Even After Bankruptcy and many of those methods still apply today especially given the hard times so many of the middle class have gone through and creditors are seeing a growth again in the marginal B and C credit markets [lower creditworthy people] but people are still managing to obtain credit even with blemished credit including open collection accounts [usually if the collection accounts don’t exceed $2,000 you can still secure a home loan]; auto loans are even easier to obtain – just be prepared to pay higher interest rates.


Even though more than two-thirds of the millennial generation is among the most educated, they are also among the most indebted from credit cards and student loans, while their participation in savings accounts has dropped significantly in this age group…poverty is up and employment is down among this age group… home ownership for them is at an all time low and more than a quarter of them report that they could not cover a $3,000 emergency, where with their own savings or by borrowing from family or friends, and thus live day to day with the knowledge that one mistake or accident could lead to financial ruin.


If for instance, you have a bankruptcy on your record but have been working and maintaining a good payment history with your landlord, utility providers, and keeping a good history with your bank [not bouncing checks] you should apply for a secured credit card.  That means a certain portion of your savings account, it varies by bank, is held as collateral…say $500 as a minimum, and the bank issues a Visa or Mastercard in your name.  The $500 is your credit line and as long as you pay off your charges each month in a timely fashion, this is reported to the credit bureau as a positive on your behalf.  Eventually, the bank will release collateral if you’ve maintained a good history and then you can use this good history to secure other forms of credit as you rebuild credit.  Bank of America is one such bank but you should check with yours to see if they offer this program.


You may also file a consumer letter with the credit bureau of up to 100 words explaining why you declared bankruptcy…the vast majority of personal bankruptcies are due to uninsured medical bills which even under Obamacare, many find insurmountable.


Find Free Credit Repair Resources


·         Check the Department of Justice which offers tips on their website along with links to approved counseling agencies.  Go to:

·         Check out the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, the oldest organization around with a focus on providing free or affordable services at: or call 800-388-2227

·         Find free legal help with credit card companies at:


You might also find this free site useful which helps folks find the best credit cards, mortgage rates and loans:


Yours for another revolution,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’

Additional Resources

A banking service called Simple, founded in 2009, is rapidly growing and creating converts to their way of doing banking business.  Read more to see what Simple may be able to do for you.

How To Escape The Bad Money Habits You Picked Up From Your Parents (Lifehacker AU): "A content marketer and social media consultant in Lexington, Kentucky, grew up believing her family was struggling.  It wasn’t until McCombs graduated university that she found out her dad, a software engineer, actually earned a sizeable yearly salary. So why was her mother so tight-fisted?"

A side hustle is doing something in addition to your primary job, in order to get ahead financially. Perhaps you’re a salaried employee who cannot just log more hours to earn more pay, or maybe you’re a military servicemember who isn’t eligible for a hard-earned raise. Enter the side hustle.

For those who are fortunate enough to have tucked away a decent amount of money for a rainy day, it’s important to use it for the right reasons. Here we’ve laid out five ways people misuse their emergency fund and how to avoid them.

I Am a Recovering Shopaholic
How she overcomes the shopping urge

The Anatomy of a Breakdown

The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster

Prepper’s Home Defense: Security Strategies to Protect Your Family by Any Means Necessary

Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival

As I’ve said for the past 25 years “We don’t need another election, We need another revolution!”

Arm Up System-Defense Without Regulation
PM’s Guide to Home Defense


When it comes to college safety, most parents and grandparents don’t like to think about it — even though American students face an escalating wave of campus crime, including rapes and deadly attacks by active shooters.

There is no middle ground when it comes to protecting the lives of your children and grandchildren on college campuses. It’s all or nothing. You have either prepared them or you have not. In a life-or-death situation, your children can only survive or not.

Your children and grandchildren are at serious risk. Just look at the statistics: One-in-five students is sexually assaulted during college. In 90% of rape cases, the attacker is acquainted with the victim. And the average perpetrator has committed multiple sexual assaults.

It is a crazy world out there with plenty of violence and everyone knows you that under most circumstances, police usually arrive after the fact. Your rights to defend yourself are often under attack, even for non-lethal self-defense tools…Includes 2 books and 3 bonus CD ROMS


{Note:  We also offer a Three Set CD-ROM-only version at a lesser price for those with limited budgets]

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1 comment:

DAR said...

Like you, I seldom use credit anymore but these are very useful points and resources.