5 Tips for Actually Improving Your Credit Score This Year
It’s easy to decide you want to improve your credit score, but doing so can be complicated in practice. There are so many different factors to manage, and little things can make a big difference in your score. But don’t hesitate to get started, because the earlier you start, the sooner you’ll see results. Kick off your financial future with these five tips for improving your credit score this year.
1. Practice Healthy Payment Habits
The most common and consistent way to build your credit is by using a credit card to its fullest potential. All you need to do is to pay your bills on time, and restrict your total credit utilization to 30% of your limit. Pay off your balance monthly if possible, or at least pay down as much as possible each month. Set aside this amount in your monthly budget so you make it a habit. If you take out a loan, then treat it the same way (paying enough monthly so you don’t build interest).
Not everyone has the good standing that will get them accepted for a new credit card, though, and that’s OK. There are still plenty of options for you if this is the case. Secured credit cards require a security deposit instead of good credit. These cards allow you to make those crucial payments without the hurdle of needing good credit in the first place.
2. Use a Bill Reporting Service
Along with your credit card and loan bills, car and mortgage payments are the main activity reported to credit bureaus. If you don’t own a car or home, then you won’t be able to build credit as quickly.
Even rent payments are, unfortunately, not always reported by landlords — but there are services that will report them for you. Services like Piñata report your payments at no charge to you, while others require an enrollment fee or charge by the month. Rental Kharma and Rock the Score are two options that offer a monthly paid option.
Depending on your financial situation, setting aside the money for this can make a notable difference in your credit score. You can even find services that report utility and phone bills, although their effect on credit will be less visible. Still, every bit counts, and the life opportunities that a raised credit score affords you will likely outweigh the downsides.
3. Plan to Pay Off Any Outstanding Debt
Any amount of debt in your name for any reason will have an undesirable effect on your credit score. Whatever kind of debt it may be, it is best that you pay it off as soon as you can. Create a plan within your budget to treat debt the same as any other payment you need to make on time. Don’t let it build up any more, or not only will it hurt your score, it will also cost interest.
Some people say that spreading out debt payments monthly will actually help you financially (like an extra credit card payment). According to Experian — one of the main three credit bureaus in the United States — this is almost never true. As long as debt persists unpaid on your credit record, it will always negatively affect your score in some fashion.
4. Ask for Help From a Trusted Friend or Family Member
If you are having trouble getting approved for a credit card then you still have options. Ask a loved one with good credit to co-sign a card or add you onto theirs as an authorized user. The former makes you more likely to get approved and the latter will tie your credit to their account activity. This way, you can piggyback off their good credit by association to build your own safely.
Take care to treat their help with respect, because it can be risky for them if you miss any payments. It’s important that you act responsibly since both scores can be affected by your actions.
5. Be Mindful When Opening or Closing Credit Accounts
One of the main factors of a credit score calculation is your activity regarding opening, closing, and maintaining accounts. Opening too many accounts closely together or closing them without consideration can make lenders assume you aren’t careful with money. It can also lower your average account age, which will lower your credit score in the short term. The older your accounts (i.e., the longer you maintain them), the more trustworthy you look in the long run.
In truth, it’s often best not to close any of your accounts at all if you can help it. Still, too many can be overwhelming, in which case it may be more responsible for you to do so. It’s better to be in good standing with a few well-tended accounts than in bad standing with an unmanageable amount.
The credit scoring system is scary to dive into due to the many rules and downsides. Unfortunately, even one chance event can make things take a turn for the worse. Regardless of this fact, you can do your best to prepare for your future (and emergencies) by taking the initiative. Only you can build up your credit score, and when you do, you’ll be all the better off for it.
Umar Nisar was born and raised in the busy city of Abbottabad. As a journalist, Umar Nisar has contributed to many online publications including PAK Today and the Huffing Post. In regards to academics, Umar Nisar earned a degree in business from the Abbottabad UST, Havelian. Umar Nisar follows the money and covers all aspects of emerging tech here at The Hear Up.
When Can You Sue For Getting Cancer?
Being diagnosed with cancer can be devastating and affect anyone at any age. Several factors, such as genetics and lifestyle, can cause it. However, cancer can also be caused by the negligence of others. In such an instance, you can sue the people responsible for causing your cancer and claim compensation for the diagnosis and any associated damages.
Determining when and who to sue for getting cancer can be a complex process. So, it’s a wise idea to hire a lawyer to get you through the process and get the compensation you deserve. The attorney can advise you on when, how, and whom to sue for getting cancer.
With that said, here’s when you can sue for getting cancer:
- Product Liability
You can sue for getting cancer from a defective product. For example, in one hair product cancer lawsuit, a claim was made that a hair straightening product was causing uterine cancer in women. The defects in the hair product increase the risk of developing uterine cancer for whoever uses it. If you think you’re in a similar situation, you can sue the manufacturers if a certain product increases your risk of developing cancer.
However, proving your case and claiming compensation can be challenging. In such a case, you must prove the defective product caused your cancer to sue the manufacturer or retailer. You’ll have to request tests on the products to prove the defect and the relationship to cancer development. The product defect has to have caused your cancer diagnosis directly. One example is when the product has excessive amounts of lead. You’ll need to hire experts or resort to government authorities to investigate the product to prove this. This way, you have a piece of solid evidence to sue the product manufacturer.
- Medical Negligence
Medical negligence is one of the most common reasons to sue for getting cancer. You could sue for medical malpractice if the doctors, healthcare facility, hospital, or other medical professionals failed to offer the standard of care causing your cancer diagnosis. For example, if the doctor failed to order necessary tests or misdiagnosed your case resulting in cancer progression, you can sue for medical negligence.
To successfully sue for medical negligence, you must prove that the medical practitioner’s actions directly caused your cancer diagnosis. You must also show that you suffered damage because of the negligent actions of the medical practitioner. By doing so, you can claim compensation for treatment of progressing cancer, lost wages if you cannot work, and pain and suffering.
- Environmental Factors
Exposure to environmental pollutants and toxins is a common risk factor for cancer. Prolonged exposure to asbestos at the workplace, radiation, and other chemicals can increase cancer risk. If you can prove your cancer was caused by exposure to a certain environmental toxin like asbestos, consider suing the company or entity responsible for the pollutants.
Suppose a company’s activities produce excessive radiation that affects the population in a specific area and results in cancer. In that case, you can sue that company for exposing you to toxins that caused the development of your cancer.
Like the previous points, you must prove your cancer was directly caused by a specific substance you were exposed to. You’ll also have to show that the exposure was from the negligence of the company or entity you’re suing. Another aspect you must consider is the entity’s knowledge of the potential risks of exposing people to the toxin or substance. Since you’ll also claim that the company or entity was negligent, expose their bad practices that contributed to the development of your cancer.
Additionally, working in a hazardous environment may expose you to substances or toxins that can increase your cancer risk. For instance, if you’re a construction worker with constant exposure to asbestos, you’ll be at risk of developing cancer. Working as a firefighter can also expose you to asbestos and other carcinogenic substances that cause cancer.
You can sue your employer for getting cancer while working in a hazardous environment. To be successful, you must prove the cancer was caused directly by exposure to a specific chemical or substance at the workplace or in the line of duty. For example, getting cancer from asbestos exposure at a construction site.
In such a suit, you’ll claim compensation for the medical expenses covering the diagnosis and treatment, lost wages, damages for the pain and suffering caused to you and your family, and other associated costs.
Conclusion Getting a cancer diagnosis because of someone else’s negligence can be traumatizing and devastating. However, you can get a little relief through compensation for the medical expenses and other related damages, such as pain and suffering. The process of suing for getting cancer can be complicated, and it’d be best to hire an experienced lawyer to handle the litigation process. An attorney can also advise on the available legal options available and the compensation to seek.
Khalil ur Rehman is a proud born and raised in Abbottabad. Khalil has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade having contributed to several large publications including the Yahoo News and The Verge. As a journalist for The Hear Up, Khalil covers climate and science news. [email protected]