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Ensure your credit scores (YES, YOU!)

Me again, I know right? You’re probably thinking, “Geez, I just finished her previous blog and here she is again!” Not to worry, I promise to keep it short and full of finance jokes. (Laughs in Bitcoin)

Due to a recent personal, very traumatic experience with this segment, I thought I would shed some light on the very controversial topic, your credit score, and even indirectly – DEBT. 

Now I know this is something we generally only start thinking about post-school, during the transition into the realist hood – adulthood (shoutout to all the veterans, see you soon at Game the next Black Friday!) But I think it’s very beneficial to be aware of this even way before we experience it. And if we’re already in it – let’s keep informed and continuously educated regarding it!

Let’s get into it friends… 

Your credit score is a 3-digit (usually, hopefully) number between 0 and 999 that says more about you than any social media account ever will. Credit scores are an important part of your financial health. You want good credit scores because they can unlock many savings and benefits, including access to loans and credit cards with the most favourable terms. 

There are many benefits good credit scores can bring you:

  • You’ll have an easier time renting an apartment/buying a house.
  • You’ll get the best rates on car and home-owners insurance. 
  • It’s cheaper to borrow money.
  • You’ll be better prepared for the future.
  • You can access perks and enjoy the best rewards.
  • You’ll develop a good reputation that is everlasting!

As you progress through life, it’s the decisions one makes that define one’s future. A good credit score is a financial decision that will always be a positive balance. (See what I did there?)

I promise you, trying to get rid of a bad credit score is not something you can do easily. Even if you have no outstanding balances on any front, a bad behaviour picked up on your credit score lasts for a while. THERE IS NO QUICK FIX!

Many don’t know this, maybe some do, but even your progress in your working career could hinge on your financial truth – your credit score. Majority of companies in this day and age undergo credit checks before seriously considering you for employment. Imagine, a bad credit score getting in the way of an opportunity to work at the company of your dreams? Now, let’s stop imagining and taking the necessary steps to prevent this from happening.

Below are ways on how to maintain a good credit score:

  • Understand how your credit scores are calculated.
  • Pay your bills on time!! (Even that Identity account, girl!) Make sure you get into the habit of paying consistently, the amount that is due (or more), before the overdue date!
  • Keep your credit utilization low (ratio of your outstanding credit card balances to your credit card limits) – i.e. Do not max out your credit card!
  • Do not allow yourself to be over-indebted (it’s SO tempting to accept that revolving credit loan SMS from your bank – don’t do it!
  • Pay off debt before saving (interest earned is always less than interest paid)
  • Stay up to date on your credit score and report.
  • Manage your debt!

But how do we ensure we maintain our credit score is good/is improving? There are lots of tools you can use to your advantage to keep on top of your credit score, but I’ve mentioned two of them below:

  • The internet. Yes, your phone can be used for something other than Instagram! By simply “googling” the words – “credit score” – many resources to educate yourself are available to you instantly.
  • You can check your credit score yourself!
    Websites such as clear score, Experian, my credit check and my personal fave: Transunion, all give you the opportunity to be able to run a credit check on yourself. Most sites avail this as a free offering, while others require you to pay a small free. 

If you’ve taken in nothing else from this blog – take this in: A credit score is something fully within your control, it is your responsibility and is fairly easy to build positively. However, it is even easier to develop bad habits that reflect badly on your credit score, be careful! I repeat, there is NO QUICK FIX!

As I wrap up, I’d like to leave you with a quote by Tyler Gregory:

“Are you willing to accept anything less than the credit you want, the credit you need, and the credit you deserve?”.

Until next time
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– Jamie Julies (CFO)

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