Whether you have personally experienced it or not, you probably know someone who has been laid off or had their overtime pay cut or been hit with a financial setback. With good credit you are literally on top of the world, everything is at your fingertips. Yet with just one unexpected setback, you can literally be thrust into a spiral that can take you years to come out of.
When it comes to electricity, having credit challenges can also have a huge impact on the purchasing decisions you make. Whether it is choosing one company because they offer a lower deposit than the others you contact or choosing one product over another because it requires no deposit at all….it all starts with credit.
But what can you do to get electricity for your home or apartment if you don’t have good credit? Here are some things you can do to get electricity in this situation and not drive yourself crazy.
- Try To Get Current With Your Electricity Provider – Yeah I know, this is not the James Bond-like option. But the truth is if you are already under contract on a term product with a fixed rate with your current electric company and have a low credit score, it is very likely you will have to pay a deposit of some kind if you switch to another company and try to get a comparable product. If you can stay with your current provider and get them to lower your rate to stay, that could save you hundreds of dollars. So if you have to keep the power in your relatives name who passed 3 years ago , one more year won’t hurt you. (And no we don’t endorse this type of thing.But we understand)
- Determine Your Limits – Whether it is a door to door salesperson who says they can approve you with no deposit if you can provide an electricity bill showing you are current…Of course with a rate that is 25% higher than the average… or a multilevel marketer who offers you an electricity plan with no deposit if you get 4 people under you in 60 days… of course, if you don’t get the 4 people you will be assessed the full deposit of …Drum roll please…..$300. There are electricity options available for people with credit challenges but it is important to know what your limits are. For example, if you are not the type of person who wants to pay each week on an electricity account…Prepaid Electricity is probably not for you…(Even if they match the $30 you start your account with)
- Understand What Prepaid Electricity.And What It’s Not –Ok I will first start by saying, I believe 80% of the people who enroll for this product in Texas should not be. It is not a get rich quick or something for nothing. (As many people treat it as) But let me clarify Prepaid or Pay As You Go Electricity can be a great product if used correctly. But the key with prepaid is that while you don’t have to pay a deposit, and many companies offer to match the money you start your account with, your rate will most likely be higher than a regular fixed rate product and there may be other fees associated with the product. We have covered this product on our website in-depth for more information click here but understand this.In a nutshell, if you start your prepaid electricity account with $30 and even if the company chooses, as a promotion, matches your payment and gives you an additional $30. This gives you $60 in electricity credits for the month. Even without any account fees this would be $60 for the month. If your normal electricity bill is $110, you will have to add more money to your account before the end of the month. There is no David Blaine magic that will change this. If it seems to good to be true…Well you know the rest
- Know All Of Your Available Options –Sometimes not knowing what you don’t know is what gets you. For instance surfing through the Greensheet or Craig’s and choosing the company with the prettiest ad may not be the smartest way to shop for electricity or…well anything. There are options available but sometimes you need guidance. We know it is not easy. Like most things, clever marketing ads disguise the details and that is what gets you. A good rule of thumb is…The Big Print Giveth…And The Small Print Taketh Away…