Still recovering from holiday spending? Maybe you’ve had debt looming for years and you’re ready to turn it around. We’ve collected a few simple steps to help get you on the road to better credit, giving you the tools you need to control your financial future.
Pay Your Bills On Time
To improve your credit score and avoid late fees, be certain you’re paying your bills on time. Set aside time every month to go over your charges, write the checks, and mail them on time. However, if that sounds too tedious for you, online bill payment has become an option! Many banks offer ways to automatically pay your bills directly from your account. Use technology to your advantage and prevent late bill payments!
Reduce Your Overall Debt
Eliminating debt is not easy, and requires a lot of sacrifice in the present to make for a better future. If you can make small steps to increase your monthly payment on your loans, you’ll begin to see
Only Use What You Need
Credit cards have great reward systems – frequent flyer miles, “free” money, anything to get you to sign up and start swiping. As attractive as these rewards may be, it’s important to only use the credit you actually need. Saving up for a big purchase is always better than putting the amount on a credit card and paying it off over time. Not only will you have to pay back significant interest, your credit score will only continue to lower. While sometimes credit may be the only option, be certain you’re evaluating every side of your decision.
Get Rid of Unneeded Credit Cards
While these reward systems can be attractive, if you have enough credit cards to fill a separate wallet, it’s time to regroup. Pick one or two cards that can offer you the greatest benefits for your lifestyle. If you travel a lot, consider a card that rewards you with frequent flyer miles. Maybe you shop a lot at a certain store, and can get 15% off every time you shop there – that could be a great card for you! If you’re concerned about closing out old cards, speak with a credit advisor. They can clue you in as to whether closing a long-term card will hurt your credit score in the “length of credit history” category.
Clearing your credit will take time and determination, but you can do it! Choose every day that eliminating your debt is important to you, and start taking steps towards a better financial future.
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