• Penny L.

Don't Make These Credit Mistakes!

Building a good credit score is no easy feat. It takes a good amount of planning, discipline and commitment, but the rewards are well worth the effort. With a healthy score comes easier access to loans, savings and benefits. Below are the top mistakes to avoid in order to obtain that "wow" credit score: 1. Don't Forget to Pay Your Bills This one may seem obvious, but it's actually a common mistake many make. Late payments negatively affect your overall score and act as a red flag to any potential lenders. To avoid this mistake, set reminders a couple of days before a payment is due in order to make payments on time. 2. Don't Open Too Many Card Accounts Promises of deals and discounts on cards may seem tempting, but opening too many of them can actually be more harmful than helpful. Having payments due across many different cards can rack up even more debt and make you more of a risky borrower. 3. Don't Miss Out on Checking Your Credit Report Did you know that you have access to an annual credit report, free of charge? Many don't take advantage of this opportunity and can miss out on noticing any statement errors. If there are any inaccuracies on your reports or statements, you have the right to dispute them and potentially receive a higher score. Additionally, by checking your report, you will become aware of what potential lenders see when choosing whether to take you on as a borrower or not. 4. Don't Share Your Card Number Another big worry with finances is the possibility of scams. Avoid giving out your card number to unsolicited calls, emails or texts. Often, scammers will ask for personal information like card numbers or passwords in order to gain access to your account. Doing so could lead to identity theft, which leads to a multitude of bigger problems. Unfortunately, sharing such information is a common mistake, with consequences that affect millions of individuals each year. 5. Don't Develop Bad Habits Lastly, don't fall into a pattern of bad habits. This means only making minimum payments every month, overcharging your cards, and taking out cash advances. All of these habits contribute to more debt and higher interests rates overall. Set yourself up for success by developing better habits. Check your card statements every month, only charge payments you know you can make and avoid relying on your credit cards for cash. Avoiding these typical mistakes is the best way to develop a good credit score and a better financial future overall. By forming good habits, making on-time payments and understanding the total amounts of your loans and bills, you will be on your way to having ultimate financial success.



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