8 Tips to Live Credit Smart!

8 Tips to Live Crcredit-card-gold-platinum-1512617-1280x960 (1)edit Smart!

Understanding credit and credit scores can be confusing for some. Your credit score can impact your financial life in many ways, from buying a house or car, to renting a home, and can even affect your potential to receive a job! A good credit score can lead to better interest rates and less interest paid over time. With this being said, March is National Credit Education Month and our financial counselors at The Up Center want to help you put some of your overwhelming feelings at rest, and help you understand and improve your credit.

In honor of Credit Education Month, we would like to offer a few tips to help manage and improve your credit.

  1. Check Your Credit Report. First step is to check for errors on your report and make sure all information is correct, and if not, correct errors on it immediately.
  2. Establish Credit. If you never use credit of any kind, it doesn’t mean that you’ll have a great credit history.  Most lenders prefer to see at least three to four accounts reflecting a satisfactory 24-month payment history. A secure credit card may be beneficial to show credit worthiness and build credit over time.
  3. Pay Your Bills on Time. Making your payments on time is one of the biggest contributing factors to your score. Delinquent payments can show up on your credit report for up to seven years.
  4. Manage credit responsibly.  By cancelling credit accounts and getting new ones, you cause a negative impact on your credit score. Less is more.
  5. Avoid going over your credit limit. Some credit card companies allow you to do this as a courtesy, but it can negatively reflect on your ability to handle your account responsibly.
  6. Add an installment loan to the mix. You’ll get the quickest improvement in your scores if you show you’re responsible with both major kinds of credit: revolving (credit cards) and installment (personal loans, auto, mortgages and student loans).
  7. Keep Balances Low. Racking up big balances can hurt your scores, regardless of whether you pay your bills in full each month. You often can increase your score by limiting your charges to 30 percent or less of a card’s limit; 10 percent is even better!
  8. Reduce Amount of Debt Owed.  Sometimes easier said than done, but reducing the amount that you owe will be both satisfying and advantageous in increasing your credit score. This process may take some time, but will be well worth it in the long run.

Managing your credit does not have to become a source of anxiety or stress. Take advantage of Credit Education Month to learn more about your credit score and ways to improve it. A clean credit report and good score can help you with future loans and interest rates. For more information on improving your credit, contact one of our financial counselors today at (757) 622-7017.

Uplift Lives

    Also designate your United Way contribution to The Up Center

    CVC #05017

Stay Connected

Facebook Email Vimeo

Sign up for our newsletter!