Finance Blog

Stay financially savvy with the Equifax Advisor.

Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter


Thank you for signing up for the FREE Equifax monthly newsletter

In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.

Understand your credit. Help protect your identity.

Equifax Complete™ Premier Plan

  • Know What May Influence Your Credit Score and Be Alerted of Changes
    Credit score monitoring with custom alerts
    Important Disclosure: The Equifax credit score and 3-Bureau credit scores are based on an Equifax credit score model and are not the same scores used by 3rd parties to assess your creditworthiness.¹
  • Help Protect Your Identity
    Automatic fraud alerts encourages lenders to take extra steps to verify your identity²
  • Lock Your Credit
    The ability to lock and unlock your Equifax Credit Report³
Save 75% your first 30 days with the purchase of Equifax Complete™ Premier

$4.95 for the first 30 days, then $19.95 per month thereafter. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.4

¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.

²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.

³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.

4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.

Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.

Five Tips for People with Less Than Perfect Credit

Written by Mechel Glass on April 29, 2014 in Credit  |   12 comments

Financial challenges, such as job loss or high medical costs, can have a devastating impact on your credit score. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to get back on track and help you to improve your credit history and credit score over time.

information on my credit reportAt some point in your life, you may face financial challenges. You or your spouse could be laid off or cut down to part-time work, or you could face high medical bills due to an accident or injury. Regardless of the circumstances, financial trouble could have a devastating impact on your creditworthiness and credit score.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to help better prepare yourself. If you’ve faced financial difficulty in the past and now find yourself with less-than-perfect credit, take the following five steps to help get back on track.

1. Make the best of your existing lines of credit. It’s important to understand that if financial trouble has negatively impacted your credit score, for a period of time it may be very difficult to obtain favorable credit terms. Instead of seeking new credit, aim to responsibly use the credit you currently have. You may consider adding a 100-word statement to your credit report (200 words if you reside in Maine) explaining any unfavorable items. Also consider disputing any inaccurate items or items that don’t belong to you. Incorrect negative information can have a drastic effect on your credit report, so be sure to take care of it immediately.

2. Address the issues that got you here in the first place. If you’ve lost your job and now find it difficult to pay your bills, your first goal should be to find a new job to replace your lost income. If underemployment is the problem, it may be time to make drastic changes in your lifestyle to lower your expenses and align them with your current income. If you’re faced with overwhelming medical debt, talk with the doctor or hospital and try to work out a payment plan.

3. Pay your bills on time. Continue to pay your bills on time to avoid late fees and negative information on your credit report. If you are behind, catch up on your payments and make sure you pay on time going forward. This can positively impact your credit history because payment history is weighted the most heavily in your credit score.

4. Make a plan to pay down your debt. Start by listing all of your debts from smallest to largest. Pay more than the minimum towards the smallest debt while still making minimum on-time payments on your other debts. Once the smallest debt is paid off, put those extra dollars towards the monthly payment of the next debt on your list. This is known as “the debt snowball method.” Continue this process to pay down all of your debts, and do not put any additional debt on your credit cards while you are trying to pay them down.

5. Seek help from a trusted advisor. If the process of paying down your debts is overwhelming, consider enrolling in a debt management plan with a qualified non-profit credit counseling agency. This plan could potentially lower your interest rates with existing creditors; help you pay down your debts in a shorter period of time than if you were to do it alone; and minimize the stress of working with creditors directly. These plans can also be convenient because you make only one monthly payment instead of multiple payments to multiple creditors.

If you’ve found yourself facing financial challenges that have impacted your credit, remember that you can change the trajectory with steady progress. Less than perfect credit can be a setback, but by following these tips, you can take charge and get on the road to a healthy financial life.

Mechel Glass is the vice president of education for ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions. She is responsible for developing the curriculum and financial education materials for online classes including webinars, podcasts, videos, and listen-on-demand classes. She provides support and training for the agency’s community outreach programs and staff, including financial education specialists in 15 states. Glass also manages the development and reporting of the agency’s online education, and she is the co-author of The Veteran’s Money Book (Career Press, April 2014).

The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.


  1. joe says:

    blah blah blah

  2. Robert C White Jr says:

    How do you recover from chapter 7 bankruptcy?

  3. Anonymous says:

    What’ the best way to increase your credit score when have none?

    • Anonymous says:

      get a secured credit card or have someone co sign a small personal loan. pay the loan off early 3-4months. it works

  4. None of your business says:

    How about Equifax reporting the right information to begin with!! The whole credit bureau industry is a scam. Just another business with minimal recourse for the consumer. Inaccurate items can be disputed until you are blue in the face to no avail. And God forbid you do so as your credit score will plummet during the 30 day “investigation” which amounts to nothing. A complete joke and quite disgusting. What a sad, sad, industry.

    • Citizen says:

      I completely agree! We are at the mercy of these bureaus. Something needs to be done!

  5. Jay Brown says:

    What about making sure that the reporting information is correct and up to date? There are many individuals who are victimized by erroneous information on credit report which cause incorrect credit scores!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Iam in the middle of a ch 13, and only have 2 yrs left!!! YAAA!!! I have paid the court perfectly and I got approved on a car a year ago, and it is paid perfectly, which should help my score. Any other suggestions at this time that I can be doing to help my score?

  7. GT says:

    Credit counseling destroyed my friend’s credit. They paid no attention to whether or not bills were on time. She found out too late to salvage the damage.

    • Dee K. says:

      It’s never too late to repair the damage! I’ve done it once. It took 7 years because that’s how long it took for the negative to drop off, but the credit score went up when the balances were paid. From 501 to 725 in less than 1 year. I was able to buy my first home. The key is paying attention and following what is reported. If you feel it is incorrect, call the companies and make sure they fix it. Make a statement on your reports to let people viewing it why it’s in the shape it is in. You will be suprised that when creditors see you care and are trying, they will help you.

  8. Rhonda says:

    So what do you do when the mortgage company tells you to drop all
    Of your disputes and when you do your score drops 100 points and now your screwed.

  9. Michael E Archer says:

    This is the best news I’ve heard in 3 years. I will write a new review quarterly to let you all know my progress, I am roughly $80,000 in credit card debt
    I am 56 and have had pretty darn Good credit until 3 years ago

    I will sign up as early as they let me.

Commenting guidelines

We welcome your interest and participation on this forum, but be aware that comments will be published at Equifax's sole discretion. Please don't use this blog to submit questions or concerns about your Equifax credit report or raise customer service issues. Instead, you should contact Equifax directly for all such matters and any attempts to do so in this forum will be promptly re-directed.

Some other factors to consider when commenting:
  1. Registration and privacy. While no registration is required to visit our forum, participants wishing to post a message must register by creating an account. All personal information provided by forum members incident to registration is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  2. All comments are anonymous. We'll delete your name, e-mail address, and any other identifying information, including details about your investments.
  3. We can't post or respond to every comment - As much as we'd like to, we can't post every comment, nor can we guarantee that we will respond to each individual message. All questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or similar customer service issues should be handled by contacting Equifax directly.
  4. Don't offer specific legal, tax or financial advice. All of the materials on this Site are for information, education, and noncommercial purposes only and this forum is not intended as a means of expressing views or ideas regarding any specific legal, tax, or investment advice. While offering general rules of thumb is both permitted and encouraged, recommending specific ideas or strategies regarding investments, taxes, and related matters is prohibited.
  5. Credit Repair. This blog is not intended as a venue for the discussion or exchange of ideas regarding credit repair or other strategies intended to assist visitors and community members improve or otherwise modify their credit histories, ratings or scores.
  6. Stay on topic. Your comment should be concise and pertain to the specific post in question.
  7. Be respectful of the community. The use of profanity, offensive language, spam, and personal attacks will not be tolerated and egregious or repeat offenders will be banned from future participation. We encourage disagreement and healthy debate, but please refrain from personal attacks on our WordPresss and contributors.
  8. Finally: Participation in this forum may be terminated by Equifax immediately and without notice for failure to comply with any guidelines or Terms of Use. As such, you should familiarize yourself with all pertinent requirements prior to submitting any response through the blog or otherwise. All opinions expressed in this forum are solely those of the individual submitting the comment, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Credit Archive