The New Year is upon us, and for many, 2018 will be a year of reinvention. Change can be hard, but is often very rewarding. Improving your credit score is a lot like improving your physical health, so why not focus on implementing healthy spending behavior in 2018 alongside your health goals? As with any change, improving your credit will require a step-by-step mentality. FICO scores improve with time and good behavior. Here are some tips to help you in 2018!
1. Compile the Debt: You should always have an accurate picture of your current financial situation (FYI – Most of us don’t).This starts with identifying where you owe, and how much. This first step often feels rewarding in itself, as it is the beginning of getting organized! Compiling your debt and making it easy to read will help lead you into phase 2 of improving your finances!
2. Identify Highest Balances & Highest Interest Charges: In order to start paying off debt effectively, it is important to identify where your highest balances lie, and what the interest charges are amounting to. Once you have this information compiled, you can create a custom plan for repayment. Altair also has some ideas on repayment in step number 3.
3. Repay, Repay, Repay: Our suggestion for repaying debt is simple. Start by identifying the card/loan with the highest interest rate. From there, identify any extra money you might have available after accounting for your lowest minimum payments on any additional cards or loans. For example, if you have $200 extra dollars after making the minimum payment on all other open accounts, then apply this amount to the card with the highest interest rate. Once this card is paid, you can then apply this $200 to the amount you are paying on the next highest interest card. Continue this waterfall process until all of your debt is paid in full!
These tips will help to significantly improve your FICO & VantageScore. Remember, your proportion of balances to credit limits is one of the most important factors in calculating FICO. Keeping your balances low and making on-time payments is a surefire way to up your financial game in 2018!
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