Five Ways to Get Your Credit in Shape

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

If you get outside every morning for a daily walk, get to the gym a few times a week, and eat healthy, you are probably in good shape.

Taking care of your finances is just as important as taking care of your body. A good credit score is as vital to well being as a healthy weight.Here’s how to make sure your bottom line is in the same shape as your waist line:

  • Get a checkup. Order a copy of your free credit report every year and look it over as carefully as you look at your doctor’s annual physical report. Your blood pressure may be nice and low, but you want your credit score to be high. If there is inaccurate information, write to the issuer of the information as well as the credit bureau and get it fixed.
  • Exercise your credit cards. Don’t just let those reward credit cards sit in your wallet and get dusty. Pay attention to the rotating rewards offered by a cash back card, or the frequent flyer miles you get when you use your card at restaurants. It’s easy to be lazy and let rewards pass you by, but it’s just as easy to sign up for alerts from your card issuers and sign up for bonus reward offers.
  • Trim the fat from your budget. If your credit cards are nearing their limit, take a closer look at where you spend your money. That magazine subscription that automatically renews each year might be ending up in the recycle bin without being read—call and cancel it. The shopping habit you thought was no big deal could be costing you more of your paycheck than you thought.
  • Pick up a new healthy habit. Sign up for paperless statements and electronic alerts from your credit card issuers. You will cut down on the paper clutter in your home and you’ll be doing a good deed for the environment, too. Sign up for automatic bill payment and you will never have to worry about a late payment damaging your credit score.
  • Vary your routine. Having more than one type of loan looks good on your credit history and improves your credit score. So instead of just having a credit card, consider taking out a business loan, student loan, or mortgage. Only do this if you have a business, are in school or buying a house and you can afford to keep up with the payments. Getting into debt over your head will not help your credit score.

With these moves, you can keep your finances as fit as you keep yourself. Ahealthy body and a high credit score are two ways to ensure a long and happy life.

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