Bad credit can be a major trap that leads to financial ruin. It's always good to know how to avoid falling into this trap so you can keep your finances healthy. There are a few things to keep in mind that may assist you avoid financial stress.
- Make sure you always make your payments on time
- Keep your credit card balances low
- Don't open too many new credit accounts
- Monitor your credit report
- Get rid of unnecessary expenses
Make sure you always make your payments on time
The most significant thing you can do to avoid poor credit is to maintain your payments on time. Late payments will damage your credit score and make it harder to get loans in the future. Contact your creditors and attempt to work out a payment plan if you're having money problems or if your expenses are not adding up. They'd rather receive a payment from you than nothing at all. So remember, always make your payments on time!
Keep your credit card balances low
Another key factor in maintaining a good credit score is keeping your credit card balances low. High balances can damage your score and make it harder to get loans. So make sure you keep an eye on your balances and try to pay them off as much as possible. Try to keep your balances below 30% of your credit limit. If you're having trouble doing this, contact your credit card company and ask for a lower interest rate. You may be surprised at how willing they are to work with you.
Don't open too many new credit accounts
Your average account age decreases every time you open a new credit account. This can damage your credit score, so it's best to only open new accounts when absolutely necessary. If you're trying to rebuild your credit, it's best to only open one or two new accounts and then focus on paying them off as quickly as possible.
Monitor your credit report
Bad credit can sometimes be the result of identity theft. That's why it's best to monitor your credit report regularly, so you can catch any fraudulent activity early. You're entitled to one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit bureaus. So make sure you take advantage of this and check your report regularly.
Get rid of unnecessary expenses
If you're trying to get out of debt and improve your credit score, it's important to get rid of any unnecessary expenses. Take a close look at your budget and see where you can cut back. Do you really need that expensive cable TV package? Would it be better to cancel it and use that money to pay down your debt? Little changes like this can make a big difference in your financial health.
CreditNinja has put together a comprehensive list of the top consequences of bad credit and the best tips to deal with them so that you can turn your finances around and take back control.
With a little bit of effort, you can keep your credit score healthy and avoid the trap of bad credit.