Managing Your Credit Reports and Scores

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!  It’s so hard to believe that we are at the end of 2015. Christmas shopping has most likely already taken its toll on our wallets, but as we move into the New Year, it is always a wise idea to learn or review ways to manage our credit reports and scores.

  1. Be cautious of signing up for store credit cards that offer a discount on purchases. If you do not pay off the balance immediately, you risk paying high interest and put yourself at a higher risk of accruing unnecessary debt.
  2. Utilize the information given to you on your monthly statements. Your monthly statements display how much you will pay in interest and how long it will take you to pay off your balance if you only pay the minimum each month. It will also suggest an increased amount to pay in order to pay off the balance faster and save on interest fees.
  3. There are resources available to check your credit reports and scores. Apprisen offers a Credit Health Education session which involves reviewing your credit reports and scores from the 3 credit bureaus. You will be educated on how to improve your credit scores and how to keep them in good standing. You can also go to annualcreditreport.com and check your credit reports with the three bureaus for free every year. Credit scores will not be included in this free report but can be purchased for a fee.
  4. If you find yourself dependent on the use of your credit cards, I would encourage you to do a financial checkup. Apprisen can assist you with this process. Call 800-355-2227 to schedule an appointment or go online to apprisen.com/fst to take our “Financial Stress Test”. You may also submit your information for internet counseling.
  5. To improve and keep your credit in good standing remember 3 things.
    1. Always make your monthly payments on time.
    2. Don’t charge or exceed 30% of your limit unless it is an emergency.
    3. Keep your balances low (or paid off) as often as possible.

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