GREENSBORO, N.C. — In today's economy, maintaining a good credit score and staying on top of credit reports is more important than ever. With so many financial decisions and purchases dependent on credit, consumers need to be aware of the best ways to save money and maintain their financial health.
Credit scores are three-digit numbers that represent a consumer's creditworthiness. This number is calculated based on an individual's credit history, payment history, and credit utilization. The higher the credit score, the more likely a consumer is to be approved for credit and receive favorable interest rates and terms.
Credit reports are a detailed history of an individual's credit activity. They include information such as credit accounts, payment history, credit inquiries, and public records such as bankruptcies or liens. It's essential for consumers to review their credit reports regularly to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date. Nathan Grant with moneytips.com said "A lot of your banking apps and portals might have credit reporting included, even if they do not there is always annualcreditreport.com that lets you once a year check your credit report for free. But, since the pandemic, they made that information available free weekly, that you could get those reports."
There are several ways consumers can improve their credit scores and maintain a healthy credit report. One of the best ways is to make all payments on time and in full. Late or missed payments can have a significant impact on credit scores and can stay on credit reports for up to seven years.
Consumers should also keep their credit utilization low. This means not using more than 30% of available credit at any given time. Using more than 30% can negatively impact credit scores and indicate to lenders that a consumer is overextended.
Another way to improve credit scores and maintain a healthy credit report is to limit credit inquiries. Applying for credit too often can signal to lenders that a consumer is seeking credit and maybe a higher risk.
In addition to managing credit, there are several ways consumers can save money. One of the best ways is to create a budget and stick to it. By tracking expenses and limiting unnecessary spending, consumers can save money and build financial stability.
Economists are predicting a possible recession by the end of the year. Since you cannot control what happens with big business and the fluctuating U.S. government, it's best to stay ready for possible financial pitfalls. Ja'Net Adams with Debt Sucks University said "I am seeing news segment after news segment about layoffs and they're not hundreds of layoffs they're thousands of layoffs, from 7,000 here to 8,000. And so people need to think about the industry they are in. And if you think that it's something that may have a job layoff in the future, before the end of the year start preparing your finances to take that hit." Another way to save money is to shop around for the best deals on everything from groceries to insurance. By comparing prices and seeking out discounts, consumers can save significant amounts of money over time.
In conclusion, maintaining a good credit score and staying on top of credit reports is crucial for financial stability. Consumers can improve their credit scores by making payments on time, keeping credit utilization low, and limiting credit inquiries. Additionally, creating a budget and seeking out the best deals can help consumers save money and build financial security.