I look forward to the end of the year because of all the fun that is had during the holidays. However, I also look forward to the cleaning tasks I do for school credit each December.
Because I want to start the new year organised and on top of my credit life, I appreciate doing this. As a result, I’m able to make much better financial judgments.
You, too, may ring in the new year with a clean credit slate. Do these four actions before the clock strikes twelve to ensure a prosperous new year.
1. Obtain Your Credit Reports for Free
Each of the three main credit agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, must provide you with a free yearly credit report. You may get your free credit reports through AnnualCreditReport.com, which is the official government site. You may get a free credit report from this site, and there are no strings attached.
Carefully review your credit records. Make sure your personal information is correct and that there are no mistakes in your credit report. Also, keep an eye out for symptoms of fraud. You should be on the lookout for any accounts or transactions that you didn’t create, since these are symptoms of fraud.
This article from InvestingAnswers reveals three subtle signs that your credit score is in serious jeopardy.
If you discover an inaccuracy or suspect identity theft, the Federal Trade Commission explains what to do.
2. See whether You Have a Good FICO Score
The number of credit ratings we all have has been the subject of numerous recent publications. Lenders employ a variety of metrics to assess a borrower’s creditworthiness.
Several websites provide free snapshots of your credit score. These aren’t your FICO scores, however. That’s why they’re at no cost. Lenders mostly consider FICO ratings when making lending choices, so that’s where your money should go.
5 Things You Were Totally Unaware of That Could Affect Your FICO Score]
Having said that, I believe that these free credit scores are a valuable tool for monitoring your credit in general.
However, most lenders use a variant of your FICO score to judge your creditworthiness, so it’s a good idea to check your FICO score at the end of the year. Myfico.com offers a ‘free’ FICO score in exchange for a 10-day trial of their credit monitoring service, which you may opt-out of at any time. It costs $19.95 a month, and you are responsible for ending your membership.
3. Check Your Credit Card Accounts’ Terms and Conditions.
You may save a lot of money if you pay attention to the following points:
- Take a look at your annual percentage rate (APR). Assuming your credit score has improved sufficiently in the last year, you should request a decrease in your interest rate. If you already have great credit and your APR looks exorbitant in comparison to the offers you’re receiving in the mail, you could ask for a lower rate.
- APRs with introductory rates as low as 0% on purchases and debit transfers are important to know. Make sure you know when the introductory time is over so you can plan accordingly. Make sure you pay off your amount before the usual APR kicks in (the APR you’ll have after the intro rate expires).
- Make sure your rewards cards are up to date. Make sure you know if you’re approaching any restrictions or expiry dates. Redeem the awards you’ve earned by looking at your balances and planning what you’ll use them for. Make sure you don’t squander your incentives.
4. Set New Year’s Resolutions That Are Credit-Related
Be ambitious, yet keep your feet firmly planted on the ground. For example, if you have a low credit score, the new year might be the perfect moment to raise it. In one year, it’s quite improbable that you’ll go from a low credit score to good credit, but you should be able to move up to the “fair credit” area.
Another key objective is to pay off any outstanding debt on your credit cards. Transferring your debt to a credit card with an initial APR of 0% on balance transfers may be done with great credit. Calculate your monthly debt-paying capacity if you don’t qualify for one of the finest credit cards. When you’re only a tiny bit over the minimal payment, you’re still making progress. Be a stickler for your beliefs.
Good for you if you don’t owe any money. congratulate yourself. To maintain your good financial habits in the next year, make a resolution to create a budget and keep track of all of your credit card purchases. If you don’t know how much you’ve spent, it’s tough to keep out of debt.
You’ll be able to make better financial judgments in the new year by doing some year-end credit housekeeping. You’ll know exactly what you need to work for in the next year if you’re aware of your credit situation.