When you’re in a relationship, there will come a time when you might need some financial assistance. To ensure that you get the help you need, you and your partner need healthy credit ratings.
A credit score rating determines whether or not you’ll receive financial help when you apply for credit. So it’s important to know what your respective credit health looks like. We’ve put together a simple guide on how to improve your credit rating as a couple, regardless of your individual credit scores.
1. Get credit reports
Before you take any steps to improve your credit health, you need to know where you currently stand. Get both of your credit reports using DirectAxis Pulse, our free online credit check tool. Pulse enables you to check your credit rating, learn about your recent credit enquiries and any defaults or judgements against your names. It will also show you which decisions have impacted your credit ratings the most and if there are any fraudulent activities on your accounts. Using DirectAxis Pulse will equip you with all of the information you need to improve your credit score.
2. Review the reports
Now that you have the reports, it’s time to thoroughly review them. Incorrect judgements and fraudulent activities can negatively affect your ability to get credit or make the cost of credit more expensive. If you spot these in your report, file a dispute immediately with a credit bureau to have them removed.
3. Use the team-work approach
Now it’s time to have an honest conversation with your partner about money and you credit report. To do this effectively, both of you must be transparent and non-judgemental, regardless of how your credit scores compare. Remember, you will need to work as a team to achieve the greater goal of. having a healthy credit profile. The aim of this conversation is create a plan that will help you achieve that goal.
4. Pay off any outstanding debt collections
The first step is to plan to pay off any outstanding debts. Start by drawing up separate budgets, listing all expenses including those outstanding debts. If the debt amounts are high, break them down into smaller instalments. That way, you’re able to manage the payments and finish them over the long-term.
5. Reduce balances on credit cards
If you’ve already spent above 50 percent of your available credit, start making more than the minimum monthly payment. This will help you pay back the amount you owe a lot faster. To speed this up even further, put your credit card away and eliminate the temptation to use it.
There’s always a way to rebuild or improve a credit rating. All you need is the information to help you make the right decisions, which is where a credit report comes in. And, it’s even better when you’re taking this journey with your significant other. Doing this together, as a team, will help you have an accountability partner that will support and motivate you when the journey to a healthier credit score becomes difficult.