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Rebuilding your credit while having a criminal record

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2022 | Misdemeanors

A misdemeanor charge is a serious matter because of the consequences you will have to deal with after a conviction. You may worry that having a criminal record will automatically cause your credit score to drop, which can make it hard to get lenders to loan you money for a vehicle or a home.

It is true that having a misdemeanor in your past may create some challenges when it comes to finding approval for different kinds of financing. However, it is not impossible to rebuild your credit even though you have served prison time.

Your criminal record and your credit score

According to Nerdwallet, simply having an arrest and a jail sentence on your record does not directly affect your credit score since criminal records do not appear on credit reports. However, serving time in prison means you are not making regular payments on credit cards or other loans. By the time your prison sentence is over, your credit may have suffered a decrease for this reason.

Other factors may harm your credit. An unpaid court judgment, perhaps one stemming from your conviction, can go on your record. Filing for bankruptcy, possibly due to your legal troubles, can also damage your credit.

Finding a lender willing to help you

It is not a given that banks and lenders will refuse to give you a loan because you have served time. However, poor credit can dissuade lenders and credit card companies from approving you for credit lines and loans. However, there are some financial institutions like credit unions that offer secured credit cards, even to people with criminal records.

You can also check your credit report for inaccurate listings that can drop your score. You might not qualify for traditional loans right away, but keeping up a regular payment history with a secured card can give you a record of fiscal responsibility that may motivate lenders to give you a chance in spite of your past brushes with the law.

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