25 Apr “An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure.” -Benjamin Franklin
The world we live in relies on credit. Therefore, having poor credit can quickly make life exceptionally challenging. High profile and high paying employers often refuse candidates who fail to meet credit screening requirements. Banks resist offering loans and financing to individuals with poor credit history. Even getting a credit card is difficult without somewhat of a favorable financial background. These are the true and hard facts as it relates to your credit. However, if you are not in the financial position that you would like to be, all hope is not lost. Keep reading to discover how a few proactive measures can go a long way towards protecting your credit in the future.
As you begin to clean up your credit report, it is always a good idea to start taking the proper measures to prevent similar problems in the future. We highly recommend that you request your free annual credit reports every year. Perhaps using your birthday, an anniversary, or some other important milestone date as a reminder or trigger will help you stay on track. It’s also a great idea to use automated bill payment services as well as credit monitoring services to proactively manage your credit and financial reputation.
Advocate vs. Enemy
In light of the fact that most adults take advantage of loans and financing at one point or another, you may as well look for ways to set aside cash when you can. Avoid being your own enemy and instead be your best advocate by being realistic with yourself about your spending and financial needs. Plan for them in advance, and when planning is not possible, consider minimizing spending or cutting it out altogether if possible. Once your credit rating has been damaged, banks and financing companies ultimately decide what you will and will not have going forward. Maintain control of your own life and future by maintaining control of your finances first.
Be a Leader, Not a Follower
Deciding whether or not to purchase a home, a new car, that new bag, those new boots are all decisions that can be influenced by what we see others doing around us. When you are making a decision about possibly purchasing a home, consider your family size and specific needs, proximity to work, school, and other close family and friends, as well as what you can comfortably afford. Likewise, when purchasing a vehicle, consider your family size and transportation needs. The home, car, or latest fashion trends that a friend or associate recently purchased should not be a part of your consideration not should it inform your financial decision making process.
Nobody Said It Would Be Easy
With so many influences and self-proclaimed authorities on the subject of credit, finance, and economics constantly pumping out so much information via the web, social media, traditional media, and even word of mouth, making wise and sound financial decisions can seem daunting. Unfortunately, many of these individuals do not have your best interest at heart. The challenge for every responsible consumer is to do your own research. After determining your own financial needs and goals, carefully consider your options and select those that you determine are best for you and your circumstance.
In spite of what banks and lenders may want to you believe, there is no such thing as pain free cash. Financial resources are costly and valuable for a reason. It cost someone to establish it and nobody is going to just GIVE it away because you asked nicely. There are numerous individuals all over the world who owe thousands of dollars to credit card companies, banks, and other lenders. Some of the items they genuinely needed. Others, they simply “had to have”. Lenders and financing companies are in the business of making you feel good about poor financial decisions while they make enormous profits. The ideal approach for escaping debt and preventing poor credit is to escape the way you see yourself and your situation. Your value is not tied to your possession or net worth. Ultimately, only you can take the steps to get out and stay out of debt.