Improving a poor credit score can seem like a daunting task that takes a significant amount of time. Where do you even begin? How can you build your score so that you can meet your financial goals?
Luckily, there are several tech tools and apps available that can make the process easier. From credit monitoring apps to secured credit cards, there is something to help everyone.
With so many options, you might feel overwhelmed trying to decide where to start. The options listed here get the heavy lifting out of the way. Check out the apps and tech below to determine what’s best for you. You’ll soon be on your way to improving your credit score.
Online Access to Your Credit Report
The more you know about a problem, the more easily you can address it. Finding out what your credit actually looks like will help determine how to improve your score. In a digital world, this is easier than ever. You can access your report for free online. Credit Karma, CreditWise, and NerdWallet are just a few options.
So what is a credit score and how is it different from your credit report? Your credit score will range from 300 to 850 points, with an 850 being a perfect score. It’s based on your payment history and debt.
The type of debt you hold — whether it’s a student loan or a mortgage, for example — is also factored in. Ultimately, this number helps lenders decide whether you qualify for their loans and, if so, your interest rate.
Your credit report goes into more detail than just your score. It’s a record of your history, and it lists out all your debts and what you’ve paid on them. It will include your credit score as well. Looking over the report can help you improve your score. You can determine whether there are any mistakes and figure out where you need to improve.
Secured Credit Cards with Apps
One way to improve credit is to use a secured credit card. These cards can help those with no credit score, or those with lower credit, build up their score. Some of these cards are connected to useful apps that help you achieve your financial goals. These apps help you stay on top of your account while building your credit.
Look for a secured credit card that has one of these apps. Check the features of the card carefully prior to submitting your information. Does it have an annual fee? What is the interest rate if you carry a balance? Does the issuer run a credit check to apply?
Some cards don’t require a credit check in the application process. That can be beneficial if your credit is low and you’re hoping to get a card to start building it.
Once you’ve got your card and downloaded the app, you’ll be ready to spend (wisely), make payments (on time), and build credit.
Credit Monitoring Apps
Not only is it important to access your credit report and score, but it’s also vital to continually monitor them. You can do that through apps that alert you to changes in your credit score.
Monitoring apps let you see these changes. They also let you know if something doesn’t seem quite right. For example, they can notify you if there’s a new line of credit opened in your name.
It’s important to keep in mind that these services are for gathering information only. They can’t stop someone from stealing your identity or applying for a card using your personal information. But they do update you with changes to your credit score. Then you can determine if you made those changes or if someone else fraudulently used your information.
Apps to Dispute Issues With Your Credit Score
Did your monitoring app alert you to an error or a fraudulent use of your credit? If so, it might be time to look into an app that will help you dispute those issues.
There are resources and organizations whose sole function is to help with credit repair. These groups work with lawyers and other professionals to examine your credit report and history.
Once they go through your information, they can send dispute letters to the credit reporting bureaus for further investigation. When items on the report are determined to be fraudulent, these apps have them removed from your credit report.
Debt Planners and Calculators
Once you have your budget in place, use a debt planner and calculator app to specifically hone in on debt. This lets you see all your debt in one place. More than that, such apps can create projections on how long it will take you to pay off each debt.
For example, think about student loan bills. They may only show you how long it takes to pay them off based on your current payment plan. Debt-planning apps can calculate how the timeline and interest change if you tack on an extra $50 per month.
Another way to deal with a low credit score is to change your financial habits. Your score looks at your relationship with borrowing money and paying it back. If you have a tendency to max out your credit, that can negatively affect your score.
Making a change isn’t always easy, but technology can help. One way to address these issues is by using a budgeting app. Once you’ve decided on a budget, the app can help you stay on top of your goals.
These apps can connect to your bank and credit cards. They can instantly show you how much you’ve spent in your various spending categories. You’ll soon know how closely you’re sticking to your monthly budget. This can give you a clear picture of your spending and where you can make cuts to save money.
Technology improves so many aspects of people’s lives. Why not use tech to improve your credit score? Using apps and online programs can help you reach your financial goals. With planning and organization, you can build (or rebuild) your credit to reach a score that serves your future well.