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Bethany Hickey is a Content Manager and Writer for Auto Credit Express, CarsDirect, and many other automotive blogs. She's a graduate from the University of Michigan-Flint, with a bachelor’s in English-Writing. 

, Content Manager - March 22, 2021

If you’re not in dire need of the latest stimulus checks rolling out, but your credit score needs some TLC, now could be the time to take action.

Free Credit Reports Until April 2022

You can watch the live impact of your efforts weekly by requesting free copies of your credit reports until April 2022. The credit bureaus allowed this free weekly access until April of 2021 last year, but it’s been extended until next year.

You can visit the government website to request your reports. Normally, you’re only allowed one free copy every 12 months. But due to the pandemic, the credit reporting agencies are opening up access so consumers can keep tabs on their finances and credit reports.

If you notice anything odd about your credit reports that may be false information, or at the very least, inaccurate, you can dispute it and work to get it removed. All three credit bureaus allow for an online dispute resolution. If you know what’s on your credit reports and view them weekly, you can make sure that your information is being reported correctly. Even if an inaccurate account can continue to harm your credit score!

Jump On the Good Credit Train

Your credit score isn’t a static number. In fact, it’s the opposite. Your credit reports influence your credit score, so do your daily spending habits, auto loans, mortgage, and accounts in collections all impact your credit.

And it can take time and hard work to build a good credit score – especially if it’s not so great right now. However, with some time and patience, negative marks that may be on your credit reports right now typically fall off after seven years, and with each year, their impact lessens too.

With the latest stimulus checks set to be rolling out soon to qualifying Americans (and qualifying Californians getting their own stimulus checks as well), and the free, weekly access to your credit reports, this could be the year to turn bad credit into good credit.

Stimulus Checks Can Help With Credit Repair

The latest stimulus check bill was signed by President Biden on Friday, March 12, 2021. If you’re an individual making less than $80,000, you could be eligible for up to $1,400. Couples making less than $75,000 may be eligible for $2,800. Families with dependents may also see an additional tax credit.

While many Americans are relying on this extra income to pay expenses, if you have your bases covered, this extra influx of cash could be used to help improve your credit score if you have debt, accounts in collections, or even be used to make a down payment on a car loan. Little things like this can really boost your credit score.

Here’s what your three-digit FICO credit score is made of:

  • Payment history 35%
  • Amounts owed 30%
  • Length of credit history 15%
  • Credit mix 10%
  • New credit 10%

Two of the most effective ways to improve a credit score are: paying your bills on time and keeping your amounts owed low. By paying down your revolving credit accounts (credit cards) below 30% of their limits, your credit score may improve since those impact of amounts owed. Paying all your bills on time, resolving accounts in collections, and taking new manageable credit can also repair poor credit since those impact your payment history.

If your credit score is poor because you're lacking a credit history, then taking on an auto loan could be a good move, too. By reporting an additional installment loan (like a car loan or mortgage) to your credit reports, and making all your payments on time you could boost your credit score.

Good Credit Means Saving Money

Your credit score is a major player in the credit world. So if you need to finance a car, buy a house, or even get a credit card, you can bet that your credit score influences your approval odds and how much lenders charge you to borrow that line of credit.

With a poor credit score, not only can it mean higher interest rates, but it can also mean getting denied financing when you need it. There are lenders willing to assist new and bad credit borrowers when it comes to getting the things they need, though – like a vehicle.

For borrowers with credit challenges, a subprime auto loan could be a good jumping-off point for credit repair. These lenders consider more than just your credit score for car loan eligibility. Subprime auto loans are reported to the credit bureaus, too, helping you to repair your credit with good loan management.

Need Vehicle Financing Now? We Want to Help

While subprime lenders can help borrowers with less than perfect credit, they’re not always visible. Dealers that are signed up with subprime lenders are called special finance dealerships, and CarsDirect has created a nationwide network of them.

Using this, we can look for a special finance dealership in your local area with no cost or obligation. Get started on your path to better credit and a car loan by filling out our car loan request form.


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, Content Manager

Bethany Hickey is a Content Manager and Writer for Auto Credit Express, CarsDirect, and many other automotive blogs. She's a graduate from the University of Michigan-Flint, with a bachelor’s in English-Writing. 

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