1st Closet to Sort: CREDIT REPORT
We just completed a webinar to help review and assess your Credit Score, so that’s a strong start in locating your current Financial GPS address. If you need to pull your CREDIT REPORT, we recommend any of these FREE agencies:
Quizzle.com which provides lessons and tips for
- Free Credit Report
- Free Credit Score
- Budget Planner
- Credit Improvement Tools
- Home Value Estimator
- Home Loan Recommendations
Equifax TransUnion Experian
Basically, lenders consider that the higher your score, the lower the credit risk. Your score can change according to either pay-offs or new charge activity recorded each month. As you prepare your Income Taxes be examining where your money went last year and if you might better direct it this year. For this Spring Cleaning you want to organize and evaluate:
- Consistent Payment history:
PAY bills AHEAD of time every month, even if you have to get an extra job.
ALWAYS pay MORE than the minimum payment to pay more than finance charge.
Pay your debts In Full. Great Goal-Powered Spending Plan!
- Accurate Public records: Marital status, new child, address, place of work.
- Years recorded in your credit history: have you bought a home, car; changed employment, address?
- New cards or loan accounts: Did you marry any debts? Did your CREDIT LIMIT get reduced or increased from new or renewed cards?
Credit Utilization: is determined by how much your balance of credit is compared to the amount of credit available for you to use. If your balance is more than 50% of your available credit limit, it greatly impacts your Credit Score. (You could owe a mere $500. on a $1000 limit card and show a financial risk to a lender.)
- Inquiries into your credit file
Who did a credit check on you? Employer, Auto dealer, Landlord?
- Number of accounts currently in use: do NOT close an account if it’s paid off as it will show successful credit history on your score.
2nd Closet: Go GREEN for your Bank Accounts
- Electronic Banking; Banks took a major Slap-Down last year when they decided to charge rates for electronic transactions. Besides being environmentally smart, people who use Electronic payment and transfer already have less clutter to clean out this spring. Just be specific that the dates coincide with paydays and use a bank with minimal fees for electronic service.
- Savings: interest rates should be reviewed and researched with competitive rates from other providers. Are there investments that would be low risk and increase your savings balance more quickly? Again, set it up electronically so that it pulls automatically each month from your income. You probably want to revisit your 401K or whatever Retirement goal you are setting in place. We recommend that you use the bulk of your savings to pay off debt since finance rates are much higher than savings rates. Retirement will NEVER hold enough to cover living expenses AND accumulated debt. Keep your balances Balanced!
- Home Mortgage: Are you at the best rate for the equity and payment history for your home? Could you get a better rate for less years to save thousands on the balance of your home loan? Would an extra job designated to your principle decrease the years of interest you have to pay? Sign up for Alerts in rate and payment changes so that you can take advantage of shorter terms and lower interest rates as soon as possible.
Basically, re-evaluate every pocket of your Finances this spring so that you at least know where your money is. In a previous Blog we discussed “Every Dollar on Purpose.” That is so critical in these days of economic turmoil and with elections coming up this year. You must not relinquish responsibility of your Financial GPS to anyone. Know where your money is, where it is going, and who is connected to the future use of each dollar.
3rd Closet: Personal and Professional Growth
While cleaning up the clutter of DEBT, compulsive spending, and reckless buying habits, examine the goals you have set for a five to ten year employment plan.
- Clean out rusty job skills
- Take a few online courses or webinars
- Revise your resume
- Prepare and EXPECT possible advances in your career path.
Above all, remember, we are Certified Advisors dedicated to guiding you with the best available options for your Financial Goal- Powered Spending Plan. We love our work and the many people we coach to Financial Freedom each year. We have proven strategies already in place for you to make this a successful Spring Cleaning! Let’s throw all the windows open and get started while the sun is still shining!