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It’s almost 2020, and you might be thinking about New Year’s resolutions for your health, but have you thought about the health of your credit? How you manage your money impacts many aspects of your life, from housing to transportation. Here are some helpful tips on how to keep your credit score healthy in 2020 and beyond.

Pay Off Your Credit Card Balances

It’s too easy to let those credit card balances creep up. Try to pay off your credit card balances monthly or as soon as you can. Too large of a balance causes higher interest costs and more stress. Read your monthly statement. It will show how long it would take to pay off your balance if you make only minimum payments, and you don’t want that!

Review Your Credit Scores

Be sure to review each of your three credit score reports every year. You are allowed one free report each year from each of the credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). Request them and review them thoroughly. If something isn’t accurate, dispute it.

Resist Impulse Purchases

Do you have your eye on a new car? Is it something you need or want? Impulse purchases have a short-term positive impact but can have a long term negative impact if you don’t plan ahead and make wise choices. Temper your wants with what you can responsibly manage in any given month. Make yourself wait a few days before you buy it. You may change your mind and be able to avoid the dreaded buyer’s remorse!

Keep Your Accounts Open Even if They are Paid Off

The longer your accounts are open, generally the more favorable your credit score, especially if you’ve been making regular and timely payments consistently. When first establishing credit, be careful to charge only things you can pay off in full each month. This will help you create a strong credit history.

Set a Budget and Follow it

If you find yourself tempted to purchase things you can’t afford, or aren’t sure if you can afford it, set yourself a monthly budget. Once you set your budget, make a commitment to stick to it. Own your finances, and don’t let an unhealthy credit score negatively impact your life.

Hold yourself accountable for your credit score and financial decisions. It’s easy to start blaming others or situations that you didn’t expect, but the truth is you are the only one responsible for your credit score and getting and keeping it healthy. Start with small manageable steps and then keep setting goals to improve it. It’s worth the effort and will give you more peace of mind and more opportunities. If you have questions about how to improve your credit score so that you can purchase a home, call Primary Residential Mortgage Today.

Note: Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views of my employer