Five ways to pay bills and help your credit score - Garner consumer tips
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Garner, North Carolina consumers dealing with debt should also be concerned about their credit score. Falling behind on your bills can be a certain path to an increasingly declining credit score. To learn to improve on paying your bills, you may need to develop some better money habits. Check out these five tips for Garner, NC consumers to pay down debt while increasing your credit score at the same time.
#1 Know what bills are reported to the credit agencies
If your money runs tight and you have to pick and choose which creditors bills to pay, knowing which creditors report delinquencies to the credit reporting agencies should play into your choice. Of course, you need to keep your lights on and food on the table, but if it’s down to a credit card bill versus a magazine subscription, the credit card bill reports to the credit bureaus if you’re late and the magazine bill doesn’t. Making informed choices about how to prioritize your bills and debt can help build your credit score.
#2 Pay bills on time
While this is the most important habit for Garner consumers to develop, it can also be the most difficult if you’ve never mastered budgeting and money management. With most bills now available to pay online, there’s no excuse to pay late if you have the money on-hand. Sit down with your paycheck schedule and a list of when your bills are due to figure out when to pay. Allow a few days leeway to be certain that your payments post on time. Also, if too many bills come due at once, contact the creditor and ask to change the date.
#3 Catch up on past-dues ASAP
Past due bills can drag down your credit score and cause loads of problems. Even for bills that don’t ordinarily report to the credit bureaus, if you pay them so late that they go into collections, they can end up on your report and drag down your FICO score. If you have older accounts about to age off your credit report, leaving those alone may be wise. But those that are more recent and are close to going into collections should be prioritized because a collections entry means two hits on your credit report.
#4 Prioritize by interest rate
One strategy to paying down debt is to target those with the highest interest rates. This can save you money in the long run, which can allow you to pay down more of your debts faster since you are paying less in interest. However, lower interest rates on higher balance credit cards can generate more interest charges than a lower balance on a higher interest credit card. Crunch the numbers to see which is most advantageous to tackle first so that the end result is that you pay the least possible amount in interest.
#5 Don’t add debt on top of debt if you can avoid it
If you charge something on a credit card that you can’t afford pay, that’s essentially like taking out a loan to buy that item, meal, or whatever it is. Think carefully before you swipe a credit card. Garner, North Carolina consumers that avoid charging items they can’t afford to pay off immediately shield themselves from accumulating more and more debt. Using your credit cards to get cash back or travel rewards can make sense, but only if the rewards outweigh interest and charges paid.
Keeping yourself out of debt can protect your credit report and credit score. Identity theft and reporting errors can also result in more debt than you truly owe being displayed on your credit report – and thus a lower score than you have earned. In addition to developing better money habits, checking your credit report for accuracy every few months is important as well.
To find out more about Garner, North Carolina bankruptcy and debt relief today, contact the Law Offices of John T Orcutt. Call +1-919-646-2654 now for a free Garner bankruptcy consultation at one of our locations in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, Wilson, Greensboro, Garner or Wilmington.