Published on October 23, 2023
Establish Good Habits Now to Protect Your Finances Later
Aristotle supposedly said that “Quality is not an act. It is a habit.” We feel the same way about creating an environment where you can lead the life you want, based on your financial picture. Of course, looking toward a future of opportunity and “quality” means establishing good financial habits to follow throughout life.
To ensure this, it is important to periodically review your credit report and credit score to better protect and improve your financial health. Both your credit report and score will remain healthy if you follow these tips to develop good credit habits throughout the year that will help you stay on track with your goals and help protect your identity.
Good Credit Habit #1:
Review your credit report and credit score at least three times per year.
A credit report is a record of your credit history, including any loans or credit cards you have and how you have managed them. Credit reporting agencies use this information to calculate your credit score, which is a three-digit number that represents your creditworthiness. You can obtain a copy of your credit reports from each of the three reporting agencies at annualcreditreport.com.
By reviewing your credit report regularly, you can make sure that all the information is accurate and up to date. This can help you detect errors or fraud that could hurt your credit score.
Good Credit Habit #2:
Have a plan to maintain and improve your credit score over time.
Managing your credit score is also important because it can affect your ability to get approved for loans or credit cards and can even impact your ability to rent an apartment or get a job. By making on-time payments, keeping your balances low, and avoiding opening too many new accounts at once, you can improve your credit score over time.
Having a good credit score can also save you money in the long run, as you may qualify for lower interest rates on loans or credit cards. Whether you are trying to improve your ability to obtain credit, build good credit to buy a home, or get out of debt, set realistic goals and develop a plan to achieve them. Monitoring your credit report and score will help you stay on track. Some examples of financial goals are:
Increase your credit score by 50 points within the next six months
Pay off your credit card debt within the next two years
Use automated payments methods to make sure you build a history of steady payments over time
Good Credit Habit #3:
Activate credit monitoring with alerts so that you can react quickly to potential errors or fraud that may endanger your identity and your financial accounts.
Credit monitoring is a service that allows you to keep track of your credit report and credit score on an ongoing basis. This monitoring can detect fraudulent activity with one or more of your accounts early, allowing you to take action to prevent further damage to your credit and finances.
Credit monitoring can also help protect you against identify theft, improve your credit management activities and provide peace of mind. Simply put, credit monitoring has the power to take control of your financial health and help protect yourself and your family against fraud and identity theft.
Remember, Community Choice Credit Union provides you with Credit Score, powered by Savvy Money, including complimentary access to your credit score and report including alerts within e-Banking, to help you keep track of your credit file. Members with Choice Checking can also rely on IDProtect® Identity Theft Monitoring & Resolution Service – don’t forget to register to activate this service. Following activation, if you receive an alert for activity that doesn’t look familiar, one phone call can put you in touch with a professional Identity Theft Recovery Advocate who can help you dispute fraudulent credit activity and more to keep your credit and your identity YOURS!
With these good habits, you’ll be well on your way to preserving the health of your credit and your finances, giving you the flexibility you want.