As the holiday season comes to a close, you may be finding yourself where many are finding themselves- in spender’s remorse. Maybe you overcharged your credit card with holiday gifts that far exceeded your budget. Or hit up all the spectacular post-holiday sales for a stylin’ new wardrobe. Perhaps you even found yourself stopping every morning for one of those $6 Starbucks Gingerbread Lattes to get yourself into the holiday spirit (I know, they’re so good!). Whatever the situation, I’m sure you were also hoping that the stroke of midnight would not only bring a brand new year but also Cinderella-like powers that would magically erase all your debt with it.
Welp. Nothing crushes our big vision and mile-long resolutions list more than waking up on January 1st to see our bank account, credit score, and card balances have all tagged along for the new year adventures. While 2022 may not have come with a completely blank slate, it has come with...
Each year, as part of my goal setting and planning for the months to come, I pick a word for the year. I’m curious, do you do this too? We perpetuate what we focus on, so in naming my year, I’m putting into motion a self-fulfilling prophesy and my word permeates each aspect of my life, my work, and my relationships. It’s amazing the power you can summon to create your future just by naming it. And this year, my word of the year is ‘Focus.’ Feel free to join me and use this as your word for the year too!
Now that we’re well clear of the holiday season and those holiday shopping orders have stopped arriving in the mailbox, many of us will be longing for some focus on our finances. If you have some financial goals this year to buy a home, pay down debt, or replace your car, you’re going to need some focus on your credit health to get those things done. And I’m here to help! Here are three tips to shift your focus to improving your credit...
It’s that time of year again - holiday shopping, online sales, and that ever-growing list of gift-giving and family parties are on the horizon. Aside from your main gift list, you may find yourself easily swept away, giving $20 here and $20 there, and before you know it you’ve spent at least another $300 in addition to what you anticipated. Trust me, we’ve all been there!
That’s why it’s important to take the time now before the frenzy begins to center back to your credit goals. Evaluate your finances, understand your debt, and keep your eye on the prize by setting a reasonable budget for your holiday shopping. By pre-planning your purchases, you can avoid walking (or clicking!) into stores blindly. Being proactive is the key to a debt-free holiday season because the truth is no one who loves you wants to receive a gift you can’t afford!
Below is your go-to guide to pre-planning your list!
Oh yes, we all remember those teenage years- young, free, living life to the fullest!
While we may want to forget about that outrageous hairstyle, overwhelming hormonal acne, or first crushing heartbreak, there were so many admirable qualities we embodied during those innocent times. Accompanying these live-life-large years, we might have also acquired some lasting consequences to some of our naive choices, especially when it comes to credit.
If you currently have a teenager, be sure to have the talk with them.
No, no not that talk! The one about their financial future!
Teaching teens about the lasting impact of their financial choices can save them from lots of struggle in early adulthood, plus provide them with more opportunities. The truth is most teens aren’t even thinking about these things just yet, so building awareness is vital in painting the long-term picture.
Here are a few key credit lessons to share with them now....
We’re approaching that season where the leaves begin to change color, pumpkins are displayed beautifully on front porches, and don’t forget that perfectly layered autumn wreath hanging on front doors.
Families hire photographers to come over and snap stunning portraits of the enchanting, vibrant season as they wear matching flannel shirts, toss leaves in the air with a fit of laughter, and capture the essence of their loving family, in their most sacred environment- home.
As a credit expert helping individuals and families become empowered and established with their credit scores and savings, one of the most common requests I receive is how to successfully prepare for first-time homeownership when dealing with debt or poor credit.
If that’s you, and you desire to purchase your first home and grow (or maybe even start!) your own family, then today’s article is a must-read!
First, I want to remind you that you are worthy of owning...
Human beings are wired for new starts. We set resolutions for January 1, we look forward to “things getting back to normal” when the kids return to school; we also anticipate the beginning of the week, the beginning of the month, and the day we return from vacation.
Looking forward to these new starts can make us very productive... But it can lead to a negative impact on our credit scores as well.
We tend to have a very narrow definition of what’s normal. This fall, “normal” is typically defined by those few weeks in September and October when the kids are in school 5 days a week and we’re back to work 5 days a week and all the regular commitments of sports and music lessons are starting back up. During this time of the year, it’s easier for us to embed new and improved credit habits into our daily routines: We check our credit reports, we follow a budget, we pay off our credit cards, and we make sure our...
Most of us think we’re being very careful of our credit. That is, until we try to get a loan and are declined! Then the reality wakes us up and makes us realize that we could have done things so much better. Unfortunately, there aren’t any do-overs so do yourself a favor and read this article to make sure that you aren’t making any of these 3 mistakes...
Mistake #1. Not paying down your credit card.
A credit card is a great tool and it’s something that I recommend most people have. In fact, you should have many of them! However, it’s also important that you pay them off right away. Or, if you’re not able to pay them off right away, you should at least pay them down as much as possible. Paying the minimum amount is important but it’s only the beginning. Instead, you should be actively paying more than that amount each and every month, with the goal of keeping your balances low.
Mistake #2. Keeping important personal information on your...
Dear First Year College Student:
Welcome to one of the most exciting and memorable times of your life!
By the time you’re reading this, you’re probably into a good routine with your new school. You’re learning new things. You’re meeting new people, some of whom will become lifelong friends. You’re discovering your own identity - perhaps for the first time away from your parents’ home.
And, you’re making decisions that will impact you for the rest of your life - such as, what topics you’ll study in pursuit of your ideal career.
You may also make some decisions right now that will impact you for the rest of your life even though you may not realize their importance yet! I’m talking about decisions related to borrowing money, getting credit, and (ultimately) building a healthy credit report.
Your credit report is a record of your history of how you handle your debts - how well you pay back money you owe and how...
Diet season is upon us. With spring right around the corner and bikini season not far behind it’s time to renew those New Year’s resolutions and get your booty in shape for summer! For many of us, it’s also time to think about a credit diet too. How about you? Are you starting to feel your budget getting tight with rising credit card bills? If so, it’s time to tighten your belt and shed some of those nagging bills. I recently asked questions to Can Arkali, principal scientist for analytics and scores development at FICO® and here are a few good reasons to trim your credit card balances, especially if you have any major financial goals – like buying a home or paying for college - this year.
How low do credit card balances need to be to increase my FICO® Score? Your credit utilization ratio - the percentage of your available credit you’re using - is an important factor in your FICO® Score. While there are no hard and fast rules for...
How you handle your credit can affect so many areas of your financial life, but here’s one you may not realize. Your insurance company is also watching your credit and modifies what you’re paying for insurance on your car, home, etc. based on your credit score. We all know that insurance isn’t cheap, so what do you need to know about your credit and insurance? Here are three important facts:
1. Your credit file can affect what you pay for insurance. Yes, it used to be that your record of claims on your insurance was what caused your auto insurance rates to go up or down – in addition to other factors. But now, whether you pay your credit card bill (and all your other bills) on time can also determine what kind of insurance rates you pay. The insurance companies have figured out that the better you handle your credit, the less likely you are to file claims on your insurance.
2. You have an ‘Insurance Score’ – You already know that you...