A new year is approaching and getting your financial house in order should be high on the priority list. If you’ve been using credit cards throughout the holidays, having a debt repayment plan in the works can help keep your credit in check and money in the bank. There are a few things you can do to ensure your credit score does not fall, and help improve your current score. Keeping your credit top-of-mind going into the New Year will help you use these strategies throughout the rest of the year for a healthier financial outlook. Here are 5 things you can do:
In order to get a handle on your debt, you should stop using your credit cards. This will give you time to pay your cards down or off and can decrease your debt to income ratio, which will benefit you in the long run.
Pay on time
It’s important to pay your bills on time, every time. Late payments will be viewed negatively and will impact your credit score. Payments made on-time will help your credit score rise as you pay your bills off.
Monitor your credit report
One of the most important things you can do for your credit is to monitor your credit report. You may have erroneous items on your report that are impacting your credit score that you know nothing about. You can do this by setting up mobile alerts, freezing your credit, and being mindful of the transactions you make. Always reconcile your statement to make sure there are no fraudulent charges.
Don’t open any new accounts
Every time you attempt to open a new account, it affects your credit score. Focus on maintaining the credit you have, and select one or two major credit cards to keep your credit active. This will assist in maintaining a good credit standing, and alleviate any additional stress on your finances.
Dispute any errors
Once you review your credit report, you may find there are some errors or discrepancies that should be disputed. Contact the credit bureaus via letter or online and dispute anything you find that is incorrect. One error on your report can negatively affect your credit score, causing it to drop a number of points. Getting those errors corrected can raise your score and help maintain a healthy credit rating.
Working with a financial counselor that can provide insight and help you work on restoring your credit can give you confidence in getting your financial house in order and give you leverage when you want to apply for a mortgage, automobile or more. For more information on getting your credit in the right place, contact the team at Build My Scores Credit Services today!