It’s that time of year again! The kids are back to school, soccer practices are in full swing, and dare I say PSL has graced our presence with its return to the Starbucks menu. While summer may be coming to a close and we’re all daydreaming of being back lounging by the lake, this emerging season of stricter schedules can actually be the perfect time to get back to excellent credit and financial success!
Let’s be honest, as fun as the summer season is, we hardly find ourselves using that time to be diligent about our spending habits or to improve our credit score. In fact, with the longer days and nicer weather, it’s tempting to overspend at that new tiki bar that opened up in town or miss a bill’s due date while hiking the trails during that annual family camping trip. However, as the fall season approaches and routines are back to being established, this is the refreshing window of opportunity to tighten up on your financial responsibilities and indulge credit repair strategies.
5 Ways To Cultivate Healthy Credit Habits This Fall And Enjoy Financial Success
- Reassess Your Payments: One of the primary contributors to an amazing credit score is your payment history. Missing even just one bill can cause a pretty significant setback on your path to credit health. Before your schedule becomes overloaded with other obligations, take one evening to sit down with all your bills and accounts. To make these payments streamlined and easy, setup autopayments wherever you can and keep a list of when those payments will be withdrawn (this helps avoid any surprises!). You can even look to schedule your monthly payments around your paycheck schedule. This will ensure that your bills are being paid on time and that there will always be adequate funds in your accounts to cover them.
- Correct Past-Due Accounts: So say you did miss a payment or two over the summer, the important thing is you caught this oversight and can correct it. As you review your billing schedules and payments, make sure you pay off any past-due accounts. Remember, the longer these oversights sit, the more damage they can cause. Your path to financial success is to definitely make it a point to not only recognize, but pay off at your earliest convenience.
- Keep Your Credit Utilization Ratio Low: You want to be mindful of how much you’re spending in comparison to your granted limits so you don’t find yourself in excessive credit card debt. Generally speaking, maintaining a utilization ratio in the 10-30% range is good. To stabilize this percentage, put it on the calendar to pay down the balance on your active credit cards more than just once a month.
- Review Previous Reports: While you’ve got your highlighters out organizing your fall schedule, be sure to pencil in one night a month to review your credit reports and bank statements. Address any fraudulent claims or errors immediately (hire a credit repair specialist if needed) and keep an eye on these reports going forward. By always having a pulse on where your money is and what’s being put on your reports, you will be in better control of your circumstances.
- Meet With A Credit Coach: Just like how Parent-Teacher Night is used to discuss ways to set your child up for academic success, plan a similar meeting with a credit coach to set yourself up for financial success! Doing so will enhance your financial education alongside an expert who can help create a more customized plan of action to achieve healthy credit based on your personal credit history, current credit card debt, and overall financial status. (Ready to get started? Schedule a session with my team of credit experts here).
With these organizational tips, prepare for a fall season of financial stability and success! The path to financial freedom starts with an exceptional plan. Mapping out these areas will keep you focused and avoid any unnecessary stressors (like an overdue payment or missed mistake in your credit report) so you can begin finding your rhythm and relief….of course, be sure to treat yourself to a PSL once you do!