If you're trying to improve your credit health, it can be difficult not to be jealous of those who are already able to maintain great credit. Everyone has one friend who seems to always be approved for every card or loan they apply for, and who manages to maintain fantastic credit health. If you've been wondering what they're doing to stay in such good financial shape, wonder no longer- Consolidation Plus has uncovered the secret habits of the people with the best credit health in America. Try applying some of them to your life, and watch your financial health improve!
They set up auto-pay. Consolidation Plus has found that the number one reason that people miss their credit card payments is that they forget when they are due. A history of on-time payments is the number one factor that will improve your credit score, as it makes up about 35% of your number's calculation. Instead of racking up late fees and missed payment instances, set up auto-pay for the minimum payments on each of your accounts.
They never co-sign on accounts. Though it can be tempting to co-sign on a friend or family member's account if they ask you to, Consolidation Plus has found that the people with top credit scores almost always decline. That's because when you co-sign on someone else's account, you are putting your entire credit history on the line. Essentially, if the person who you've co-signed for is not able to make their payments, you become just as responsible as they are- and your credit score will suffer as well. Consolidation Plus recommends fully understanding the risk that comes inherently with co-signing and seriously considering whether or not your friend or family member will be able to make their payments before you agree
They don't live outside their means. Falling into credit card debt is one of the top reasons why Americans see a drop in their credit scores. As a general rule, you should avoid relying too heavily on your credit cards- if you can't afford to purchase something in cash, you probably shouldn't go into debt by putting the purchase on your card. Those with high credit scores rarely have large amounts of unsecured debt because they never borrow excessive amounts of money, and they purchase only what they know that they can pay off.
They keep their accounts open. Contrary to popular belief, closing a credit card account could actually hurt your credit health instead of improving it. This is because your credit is calculated by taking into account the total line of credit that's available to you- when you eliminate a card from your wallet, you're removing an entire line of credit from your availability. Instead, store old cards away and use them only once a month to purchase something small that you can immediately pay off- for example, a coffee or pizza. This will leave you with both a larger line of credit and a more positive payment history.
They keep a responsible budget. If there's one thing that those with great credit scores know, it's how to budget well. People who maintain healthy financial habits do so because they have a proven track record of success when it comes to managing their personal finances- they almost always make their payments on time, and they don't spend more than they earn. These habits begin with the right budget- if you haven't yet made a household budget to figure out where your money is going, doing so as soon as possible will leave you with more money at the end of the month to pay down outstanding accounts and improve your credit score.
Building a better financial situation can be tough- especially if you're currently in debt. If you need help working your way out of debt, Consolidation Plus may be able to help. Give us a call today, and make the first step towards a healthier financial future!