Having bad credit is like having a perpetual black cloud hanging over your financial life. Your interest rates are likely to be sky high and as far as getting new credit goes–fuhgeddaboudit.
So, what do you when your credit’s bad? Well, you could spend time cleaning up past credit mistakes and paying down your balances, both of which could improve your score. That’s the smart, albeit somewhat boring, thing to do.
The alternative is to throw caution to the wind and plunge even deeper in debt. If you need a roadmap for what not to do when you’ve got bad credit, we’ve got you covered. Here are eight ways to add even more to what you owe.
1. Persuade someone to add you as an authorized user
Bad credit isn’t an obstacle to more debt if you can piggyback off of someone else’s good credit habits. Asking a friend or family member to add you to one of their credit card accounts as an authorized user is a relatively easy way to up your debt quotient. You can charge to your heart’s delight and the best part? Because they’re the primary cardholder, they’re legally responsible for all the debt you rack up.
2. Get someone to cosign for you
If you want to get a loan but the lenders are saying no way because of your credit score, a cosigner could save the day. As long as they’ve got good credit, it may not matter as much if your credit rating is trashed. You can use a cosigner for a car loan, student loans, personal loans or even a mortgage, which means you can dig yourself an even bigger debt hole than before.
3. Take out a payday or car title loan
Who needs low interest rates when you can fork over an astronomical amount of money to a payday or car title lender? The premise is simple. You take your pay stub or your car title to the lender and they give you a loan. Then, they charge you an outrageously high interest rate to borrow that money. When it’s time to pay off the loan, the fees are so high that you need a new loan to cover the old one. The cycle just continues over and over again until you’re so far indebted that’ll you’ll probably still be making payments even when you’re drawing Social Security.
4. Don’t pay your taxes
Giving part of your money to Uncle Sam every payday stinks, so why should you hand over any more of your hard-earned cash once April 15th rolls around? If you’ve done your taxes and you owe the IRS, don’t rush to write them a check to pay up. Instead, just file your return and conveniently forget to pay. That way, the government can pile on the penalties and interest for what you owe. What may have been a few hundred dollars in taxes owed can easily balloon into thousands of dollars more in debt.
5. Get a store credit card and go on a shopping spree
Store credit cards are usually easier to get when you have bad credit. The trade-off is that store cards tend to have much higher interest rates compared to a regular credit card. If you want to amp up your debt total, hit up all your favorite retailers and apply for store cards. Then, treat yourself to new clothes, shoes, electronics or anything else you don’t really need.
6. Buy a car with on-the-lot financing
If you need a new car, don’t waste time working on your credit score so you can get a low interest rate. Instead, head to a dealership that offers on the lot financing. As long as you have a few bucks to put towards a down payment, you should be able to get a car loan even with a bad credit rating. Best of all, the dealer will stick you with a double digit interest rate so not only do you have more debt, but it’s costing you an arm and a leg.
7. Rent something to own
Buying a new TV or laptop in cash is the right move when you don’t want to owe anyone anything. Since your goal is adding to your debt, paying a visit to your local rent-to-own store should be on your to-do list. These businesses cater to people with bad credit. You pick out what you want to buy and arrange to make weekly payments on it. Meanwhile the rent-to-own store charges you a triple-digit interest rate. They get your money while you get overpriced merchandise and another debt payment.
8. Stop paying all of your debts
If you want to achieve master status in the use-bad-credit-to-add-to-your-debt game, don’t waste any time or money on paying the debts you already have. Once you stop paying, the debt collectors will start calling. They’ll start adding on fees and more interest to what you already owe. If they decide to sue you and you lose your case, they could make you pay their attorney’s fees and the court costs too. All of it adds up to even more debt that’s weighing you down.
More debt isn’t the answer when you have bad credit.
All of the things mentioned above can lead to more debt when your credit is bad but in all seriousness, that’s the last thing you want. A bad credit score means you have fewer options available when you do have a legitimate reason for borrowing money. Your score basically puts you at the mercy of lenders so if you are able to get a credit card or a loan, you’re going to pay much more for it than you would if you had good credit. If you’ve got bad credit or too much debt and you’re ready to turn it around, take our quick two-minute assessment to see what you can do to get your score on the right track.
What mistake have you made with your credit that you wouldn’t wish on anyone else? Share below so that others don’t make the same error!