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Posted in Retirement
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teaX

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how can an older adult rebuild credit?

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Age doesn't enter into it. If you have no credit history, or poor credit, then start out with a secured credit card.

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retirement credit

secured card is good.  But don't do anything major while trying to build your credit.   Use the secured card for one small thing a month, like gas.  Don't go over 20% of your allowed credit limit during the month even if you pay each balance before using it again. I know they say 30%, but trust me, the closer to 30% you get, the more your score will drop.  And, if you charge more than once a month, but pay it off each time, it still accumulates against you.  I charged a few things, more than usual because of a family wedding, after the transactions were available for me to pay, I paid them each time.  My balance always dropped to zero before I used the card again.  But the credit card company tallies it all up, including payments separately.  One side of the statement shows charges, the other side of the statement shows the payments. Within my 'billing period' my charges added up to 80% of my credit limit. With the payments I made during the same statement period, my balance owing was zero. But my credit points took a hit for that. And, if you have a mortgage, DO NOT RE-FI!  You will take a substantial hit.  I did that in April 2016 and they hit me 52 points at once for it.  40 years of history on that mortgage gone up in smoke!  The re-fi starts the clock ticking at zero again.  RE-FI!  I still have a mortgage, with the same mortgage company.  So, that small limit credit card?  Virtually useless now.  It has a history of 4 months.  The bureaus want to see 5 positive years on your report.  As a retired senior, I can't guarantee I have 5 years left to work on it.  I wanted to buy a car.  Not going to happen now.  It took me a year to go from 530 to 682, now I'm back to square one!!

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