So, you’ve been considering going solar to potentially reduce your carbon footprint and power bill for months or even years and you’re finally ready to buy a solar system but don’t want the pesky credit problem. We understand. Caccia deliberately developed its solutions for you in light of this. Take control of escalating power rates by purchasing your own solar panel system today.
If you don’t have the best credit, it might be difficult to have larger items reimbursed. Because going solar is an expensive investment, many homeowners search for ways to finance their solar systems. While your credit score and existing debt-to-income ratio (DTI) are normally variables in your lender’s approval and interest rate, there are methods to go solar even if you don’t have perfect credit. We’ll provide some resources and ideas for you to consider in this post.
It’s important to understand where you are before you start looking at solar finance solutions. Check your personal credit record and score, just like you would for a large purchase such as a vehicle or a home.
Every 12 months, you are entitled to one free copy of your credit report from each of the three main credit agencies in the United States – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You may get these free credit reports through AnnualCreditReport.com, which is the official site (rather than each credit bureau’s website), so don’t put your private information on just any website! Be wary of any websites that ask you to provide your credit card information before you can view your credit report. Even if they offer a free trial, if you fail to cancel, you will be charged a monthly price.
Your credit score is different from your credit report, yet it is influenced by many of the items on your credit report. As a result, if you request a copy of your credit report, it will not include your credit score. You may obtain your credit score for free in a variety of means, including:
One thing to keep in mind is that there are several credit scoring models in use, so your score may differ based on the credit score used by your lender. The FICO Score is the most widely used score, but even if you have free access to a different score, you can generally see factors that influence it, such as high balances or a lot of inquiries, as well as the fundamental score range (bad, good, exceptional), which is frequently equivalent across scores.
More financing alternatives are becoming available as solar becomes more and more popular, which might make it simpler for you to invest in sustainable energy for your house and save money.
Green banks provide company owners and households with another option for financing renewable energy projects. They frequently offer lowered interest rates, longer loan terms, and little or no down payment financing choices.
Other loan options
There are several more lending choices that you have to be aware of. To start, you may always inquire about financing alternatives with a local institution you frequently work with if you have one. Having a track record of timely payments or having credit with them may result in less scrutiny or lenient conditions for obtaining more borrowing from them.
There could be some more available options depending on where you live, such as:
Energy for All Program
Residents of California, Colorado, Maryland, Virginia, or the District of Columbia may be able to access GRID Alternatives and their Energy For All Program. You can learn more about the program and see if you qualify on their website. They assist in “providing low-to-no cost solar electric systems to families that qualify as low income, and install them using a barn-raising model that gives volunteers and job trainees hands-on experience they can use to get jobs in the growing solar industry.”
Affordable Solar Homes for Single Family Program
The Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) Program, run by GRID Alternative, can help California homeowners by offering upfront incentives to help cover the expenses of installing a solar system. You may find out more about qualifying requirements on their website, although you do need to be a homeowner.
Working on improving your credit score might make solar more affordable if you don’t have a long credit history or have made some credit-related blunders in the past (through higher approval odds and lower interest rates). Never too early to begin establishing credit! There are a few cost-effective or free ways to achieve this, such as:
Talking to a non-profit credit counselor
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) is a nonprofit company that offers assistance to individuals in examining their credit, developing debt management strategies, and even emerging from bankruptcy. There are places around the United States where you may consult with an NFCC credit counselor for free! Even while they may charge for their counseling and financial planning services, keep in mind that they are frequently less expensive than other financial advisors, give a free introductory session, and have a ton of excellent free materials available on their website.
Keeping Track of Your Credit
To receive tips or indicate what to work on first, use a free credit monitoring app or website. Free versions of apps like Experian and Credit Karma allow you to view your credit score and study the factors that influence it, helping you to understand what has the most influence. Utilizing these tools, you may take action to lower your debt, settle payments, and establish credit in order to raise your score over time.
Additionally, Experian offers a free service called Boost that enables you to leverage the bills you pay to raise your credit score. In effect, you’re getting credit for timely payments of additional debts that ordinarily wouldn’t be included in your credit report and affect your credit score. Netflix, AT&T, Spectrum, and Sprint are just a few of the bills, and according to their website, millions of points have been added nationwide as a result. Therefore, it would be worthwhile to join up to see if you can get a free boost to your credit score if your score is lower and you use streaming or phone providers like the ones they advertise.
Start Making a Plan
Your credit score is primarily influenced by a few things, including payment history, debt or credit utilization, and credit history. If you want to improve any of them, try starting with these:
Payment history: Making sure you are paying your bills on time is one of the best things you can do for your credit. Set reminders for payment deadlines, and contact your creditor or bank as soon as you anticipate having trouble paying a credit card or other debt. If you give them a heads-up, they could agree to cooperate in some cases.
Credit usage: Paying off debt may help your credit score rise if you have high credit card balances. Your debt-to-income ratio, a crucial factor many lenders assess when deciding whether to approve a loan, can be positively impacted by creating a budget and putting aside any spare money to pay down your debt.
Credit history: Lenders may not be aware that you have a proven track record of responsibly using credit and making on-time payments if you haven’t yet established significant credit history. If your credit score is low, you should look into secured credit cards, which are simpler to obtain as you effectively fund the card with a deposit. If you don’t currently have a credit card, they’re a great method to establish credit.
If you have previously been denied credit (whether for a solar loan or any other credit application), your lender must provide you with the following information:
These restrictions are part of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), which also forbids credit discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, age, or receipt of government assistance. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) also offers some advice on what to do if you are turned down for credit.
The ideal solar loan solution for you will be determined by your location and financial status. Getting many solar loan alternatives, similar to picking your solar equipment, is the best method to see what’s available to you. Ask questions to confirm any solar loan costs, read any accessible reviews to ensure your lender has a good reputation, and go through the terms of your payments over the life of your loan. Working with a reputable installer and lender is a wonderful approach to guarantee you’re happy with your choice.