Last week we celebrated National Get Smart About Credit Day, an event sponsored by the American Banking Association Community Engagement Foundation to drive awareness about the importance of managing credit wisely.
Now in its 16th year, this event enlists the support of more than 5,000 bankers nationwide to teach young people about credit. The idea is that learning about financial responsibility early in life can help prevent difficulties later on. A good credit score is important for getting a job, renting an apartment and obtaining a mortgage. It can open the door to other opportunities and help secure a safety net in an emergency.
Checkexpress would like to share 6 expert tips for maintaining a good credit score…
1. Slow and steady wins the race
To start building a solid credit history, take on a low monthly obligation like a cell phone bill or internet contract. You’ll find it’s easier to develop good bill-paying habits when the payments are well within your monthly budget. Making consistent payments over time will demonstrate your financial responsibility and strengthen your score.
2. Know Your Limits
Don’t spend more than you can afford. Using a credit card is like borrowing money; eventually, you have to pay it back. If you end up continually carrying excessive debt, your credit score will suffer. Buy a prepaid debit card to limit your spending.
3. Pay your bills on time
Avoid late payment fees and lowering your credit score by using convenient bill payment services at Checkexpress to pay credit card, cable, insurance premiums, loans, internet and other utility bills all at one place.
4. Pay at least the minimum balance due
Again, avoid penalties and lowering your credit score by always paying at least the minimum balance due. Paying more than the minimum is better so you can save on interest. If you can’t make the minimum amount due, contact the creditor in advance to discuss an another payment plan.
5. Check your credit report annually
Get a free copy of your report here. You’re entitled to one free report annually from the three main credit bureaus. Check your information is accurate and look for signs of theft or fraud. What is a good credit score? Find out here.
6. Protect Your Data
Never give out your credit card or debit card numbers unless you initiated the transaction. If someone calls you demanding your financial information, it’s a scam.