While it is possible to live without good credit, it’s not easy. Unless you have the ready cash to purchase everything you need and desire in life, you need good credit.
It’s nearly impossible to purchase a home without good credit, and it is exceptionally difficult to purchase a vehicle or obtain a credit card without it. Those who can obtain a line of credit with a low credit score typically pay astoundingly high interest rates, which cost a lot more in the long run.
To ensure your credit is good, you must learn to protect it; and here are four ways to do that.
1. View your credit score
One of the easiest ways to ensure your credit remains good is to keep tabs on your credit score. Many financial institutions recommend viewing your credit report once a year, but you might want to obtain a copy every six months. Viewing your credit report enables you to ensure that everything is correct, and make changes if it is not.
2. Don’t apply for numerous credit cards
Another easy way to protect your credit is to avoid applying for every card you come across. For example, you might love the idea of 50,000 airline miles for a free domestic airline ticket when you apply for that airline miles card. But even if you intend to put the card away and never use it, simply applying for it can knock several points off your credit score. This happens every time you apply for credit.
3. Keep your issuers informed
One way to protect your credit is to let your card issuers know if you plan on being out of the country. Banks and lenders are vigilant when it comes to suspicious activity on your cards, which might cause them to freeze your accounts if your spending habits change suddenly. This could end up being very costly if you are out of the country without any other method of payment and your cards get frozen.
4. Check card statements
It’s easy to check the balance of your card on the statement and write that monthly payment check. However, if there is a mistake on your credit card statement, you won’t realize it unless you inspect it.
This could cost you a significant amount of money in the long run. Many criminals make it a point to make only small purchases on stolen cards. Consumers are less likely to notice, and more likely to continue to pay the debt, even though it isn’t theirs.
Keeping tabs on your credit
When you partner with a reputable company, keeping tabs on your credit can help you protect your finances. By allowing you to keep constant tabs on your credit, you will be aware of any fraudulent activity on your accounts. You will have protection, and you will find it easier to dispute incorrect items.
Your credit deserves as much protection as any of the other important elements in your life.