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your tool is a mess or I'm hopeless which is it
I used your tool with every option and I'm unable to positively increase my credit score. So am I hopeless or is this site worthless

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Credit sim? Or CK in general?

Helpful to 2 out of 2 people

If you're referring to the credit simulator, that's a tool that made for guessing. At times, I've seen it just not produce helpful results. Credit scoring can be so various from one personal circumstance to another, that I feel like it just HAS to get things wrong from time to time. And again, this thing just GUESSES anyway.

If you're saying that your Credit Karma scores are down overall and never seem to go anywhere, then I'd take a deep breath and try to calm yourself. It's a LONG HAUL to build/rebuild credit, and it really seems like it takes forever. It seems that way, but if you're doing what you're supposed to be doing, it'll happen, just not as quickly as you might like. When I first started rebuilding, my scores were around 580. That was eight years ago. My scores are now between 780 and 800. In 2009, it felt like my current scores were unattainable. Keep positive and keep doing the right things.

And when I say “doing the right things” … I mean:

  • You shouldn't have any sort of derogatory items such as court judgements, tax liens or bankruptcies. If you do, you need to resolve those issues before your credit can start to recover. Once resolved, these items can and will have a negative bearing on your account for a long time. Bankruptcies for example will stick for up to 10 years, though the effect will lessen slowly as those years go by.
  • Make sure everything in your reports is accurate. If you find things that are wrong, it’s possible that your score can be adversely affected.
  • Pay at least the miminum on every bill, every month. This is the most important item, along with the previous one. Pay more if you can to reduce your balances, but don't bust your day-to-day budget in order to do so. Pay what you can afford ... no more, no less.
  • Keep credit balances as low as you can afford (less than 10% across the board tends to be ideal). Depending on your own financial situation, this can be rather difficult. But besides having to pay interest, it's ok to slowly work your way toward lower balances. Do NOT pay more to your cards simply for the purposes of trying to increase your credit ranking.
  • If you don’t have a budget, MAKE ONE. TODAY. And once you have it, stick to it. It might take some time to get a feel for what’s realistic in terms of expenses. Work at it, and maintain it.
  • If you’ve zeroed out your credit balances, congrats! But avoid the inclination to quit using cards cold turkey, and 100%. Lots of people come out of debt saying “never again” and burn their credit cards in effigy. (more in next item …) DO use your cards going forward, but responsibly. Pay off your balance in full every month. Doing so will show over time that you’re capable of using and not abusing your credit, and over time, THAT’S what builds your credit to new heights.
  • If you’re living day-to-day with a balanced budget that’s solely cash/debit, then there’s no reason you can’t do the same whilst still using your credit card(s). If you’re worried about discipline, then you’d do well to ignore your credit limit (no, I’m not saying max out your cards). If your food and misc. expenses on your cash budget is $600 a month, but your credit card limit is up to $2,000 … your credit limit IN PRACTICE should be no more than … yup … $600. If your credit bill comes in at more than $600, then you know you busted your budget. 
  • Keep your accounts open (and current); especially your oldest. Having lots of new accounts doesn't help your score. If you keep those accounts open and current over the next several years, they will benefit you more and more.
  • Avoid applying for new credit or credit limit increases unless you really need to, as these requests often generate inquiries. Inquires count against your score for about two years. As your credit recovers, you'll be able to shop around for new credit without much of a hit on your score/reports. Personally, I try to wait at least two years before I consider any new forms of credit (whether it be a credit card or a loan).
  • There are lots of resources are out there. Read up, be patient, and stay the course. Rebuilding takes years, which proves to creditors that you are a good borrower in the long term. 

DO NOT trust any “service” that claims it can “fix your credit” in a month or two. Nonsense. Credit is all about demonstrating to creditors that you’re dependable now and forever as a borrower. So if you’re just recently recovering from bad debt, that’s fine, but it’s going to take some years (7 to 10) to prove your worthiness to lenders. Stay the course, and it'll happen.

Good luck!

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