[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”4174″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][vc_custom_heading text=”EDUCATION” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:center” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]Your credit report contains just about all the information a lender needs to determine whether you are likely to pay back a loan, and includes your payment history and the number of credit accounts you have open.
Positive financial habits can help set you up for long-term success and reach your personal financial goals. Maintaining your credit is one of those habits and something you can start working on today.
How Much Are Negative Items Hurting My Credit Score?
Every inquiry on your credit report can lower your score by up to 3-7 points, which can add up fast. If you have 5 to 10 inquiries on your report right now – you could be losing out on 35 to 70 points from your credit score.
Collections are even worse. A single collection could lower your score by up to 50 to 100 points.
Regardless of your credit challenges, we’ll be here to help you understand your rights as a consumer and assist in fixing your credit.
Credit Dos and Don’ts
Open up your opportunities with credit education,
credit is a convenient financial tool. If you use credit, it is critical to understand how it works and knows the reality and responsibility of repaying your debt
DO shop around. The credit card industry is very competitive, so compare interest rates, credit limits, grace periods, annual fees, terms, and conditions.
DO use the same name when you apply for credit. Don’t leave out middle initials or “Jr.”
DO read the fine print on the credit application. The application is a contract, so read it thoroughly before signing. Watch for terms such as “introductory rate” and when that rate of interest expires.
DO ask questions. If you don’t understand something, ask.
DO set a budget and stick to it. Developing a financial plan will help you keep your finances in order.
DO open your bill and pay it on time every month. This helps you avoid late fees and keeps your credit history and credit score good. It also helps protect you from identity theft and unauthorized charges.
DO pay at least the minimum due. Paying above the minimum due is a much better idea, and making a plan to reduce the level of debt is better still.
DO contact your credit card issuer if you have trouble making payments. The issuer may work with you to create a payment plan you can more easily manage.
DO be careful with your credit card. Keep it secure. Always have your card issuer’s phone number available in case your card is lost or stolen.
DO view credit as an investment in your future. By using credit wisely, you can build a good credit history. This allows you to rent an apartment, get a job, purchase a car and buy a home.
DO order a copy of your credit report annually. Your credit report is like an academic report card it evaluates your performance as a credit customer. It needs to be accurate so you can apply for other loans.
DON’T open many credit accounts in a short period of time. It will hurt your credit score and may make credit more expensive.
DON’T pay your bills late. Late payments can hurt your credit rating and a late fee will be charged.
DON’T spend more than you can afford. A credit card is not magic money, it’s a loan with an obligation to repay. Realize the difference between needs and wants. Do you really need that Shirt or New phone? If you charge these items and only pay the minimum, you could be paying for those items months from now.
DON’T reach your credit limit or “max out” your cards.
DON’T apply for more credit cards if you already have balances on others.
DON’T ignore the warning signs of credit trouble. If you pay only the minimum balance, pay late, or use cash advances to pay daily living expenses, you might be in the credit danger zone.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]