Money Matters day 2: Fixing your credit score

(WCBD) — Debt is a problem for millions of Americans including for families in the Lowcountry.

According to credit reporting company, Experian, South Carolina has one of the lowest average credit scores in the nation and sits at 671.

Goose Creek mom Shanna Brogdon knows all too well for herself and knows what it feels like to literally be in the red and denied the chance to borrow money.

Her credit score was a poor 508 and she was missing payments. Bragdon then decided to meet with a credit counselor and made changes.

“I met with a credit counselor and found there were little things like a Verizon bill that I had forgotten about and then I forgot about an SCE&G bill.” said Brogdon.

Those little “things” Brogdon forgot to pay were taking a beating to her credit score. She then began making payments and saw her credit score rebound over time.

“Once i started chopping away at the little things, I was able to move to set up a payment plan for my medical bills.” said Brogdon.

The Goose Creek mom then began tackling the bigger debt, such as her medical bills.

Kristin Bastian, financial education director at Origin SC, says “If you’re having issues paying them then contact your servicer and be engaged in the process.”

Experian says some easy ways to improve your credit score include:

  • pay your bills on time
  • keep balances low on credit cards (30% or lower)
  • Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed.
  • Pay off debt rather than moving it around.
  • Don’t close unused cards as a short-term strategy to improve your credit score.

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