Attaining credit scores that’ll get you “in like Flynn” with lenders takes a lot more than the luck-of-the-Irish. If you get on the right path with your credit behavior – and keep your eye on the rainbow – your scores could be worth a pot of gold! But be warned…too many wrong turns and you may have to kiss those good scores goodbye.
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, heed these words of wisdom!
- Follow your rainbow. Before you can chart a path to reach your pot of gold, you’ve to know where you are starting from. Pull your credit reports and scores from TransUnion®, Equifax® and Experian®. You might be surprised by what you find, or don’t find, on your credit reports.
- Leave no stone unturned. Your scores change as information is provided to the credit reporting bureaus by your creditors… and reporting errors happen more often than you may realize. Monitor your credit reports to catch and dispute inaccuracies that tarnish your scores.
- Don’t just wear green, spend it! Pay with cash instead of plastic whenever possible. This will help you avoid a credit score hit for carrying high balances on your credit cards. The amount of available credit you use does impact your scores. Know your card limits – and understand the consequences of pushing your luck.
- Avoid getting pinched. If you’re planning to make a major purchase, take the time to get your scores in the best shape to get the best interest rates and save a lot of green.
- Don’t believe all the blarney. Having lower credit scores is not a life sentence – and it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to get a loan. It may just mean that you’ll to have pay much steeper interest rates until you can get your scores back on the right path.
- Protect your pot of gold! Today’s hackers are trickier than the cleverest of leprechauns. Your information is worth a fortune to identity thieves on the black market. Actively monitoring your credit and personal information can help you detect signs of identity theft early.
Good scores don’t have to be as elusive as a four-leaf clover.
Mapping out a realistic plan for spending and debt repayment can help you avoid credit shenanigans, put a shine on your credit scores – and bring you luck with lenders.