The beginning of the year always seems a good time to start good new habits afresh. We usually focus our new intentions on our physical and mental health – but what about our financial health? You don’t have to wait for the next January 1st to make a resolution to pay attention to your financial health and create financial goals for yourself. It is never too late to take stock of your personal finances, take steps to improve your financial health, and remove the stress and strain brought on by unplanned or neglected money matters.
Creating financial goals and then, more importantly, successfully achieving these goals not just improves your present situation, it also lays the foundation for a lifetime of healthy financial habits.
Many people think that the main financial goal of an individual should be to put aside money to invest for the future. While investing wisely is important, very often people neglect their credit health, which can have serious long term implications. Below are some credit related goals to follow through on during the year. All it requires is a little commitment, spending discipline and patience which will lead to a concrete improvement in your financial (as well as mental) wellbeing.
To Do list for financial goal of being credit healthy
1. Remain updated on your credit score and credit report: Many people are unaware of their credit score until they apply for a loan or credit card and are rejected due to a low score. To avoid any nasty surprises when you apply for credit, it is necessary to be aware of your current credit health. It is simple to request for your credit score and credit report from the credit bureaus. It is advisable to have a score of 750 or above in order to be able to secure loans and credit cards on the best possible terms and to avoid any unexpected rejection due to your score.
2. Improve your credit score, if required. If you have a low credit score, aim to improve it to at least 750. It can take between 2 months to a year to increase your score, depending on your individual credit situation.
3. Pay all your credit card bills and EMIs on time and in full. This is perhaps the most important step you can take to achieve your goal of a healthy credit score. Your payment record forms nearly one third of your credit score. Even a single missed or late payment can affect your score so it is important to be disciplined about making all your payments in a timely manner. You might need to cut down spending in other areas in order to achieve this goal, but making all your payments on time will have a substantial positive impact on your ability to get loans and cards in the future.
Working towards a healthy credit profile will pay off not just in the short run, but also provide you with easy access to credit in the future as well. It is always a good time to start working on your credit health, and the best time is NOW!