From Credit Chaos to Credit Conscious
A good, well-managed credit record is one of the greatest assets you can have.
Here are the reasons why, and the how to move from credit chaos to credit conscious.
- Many employment agencies and employers conduct credit checks before considering a job applicant.
- Well-managed credit opens doors for you to get ahead in life, for example, enabling you to buy your own home, allowing you to get a car or start a business, or making it possible to further your or your family’s education with a student loan.
- Your credit score is used by credit providers as an indication of your credit-worthiness and your ability to handle your finances, and will affect your application for credit of any kind.
- Knowing exactly how much you owe, at what interest rate and to whom, will give you fewer sleepless nights and the foundation for a plan to reduce your credit burden.
- Make a list of all your credit agreements – store cards, credit cards, personal loans, home loans, vehicle finance and any other debt.
- For each one, write down the amount outstanding, the interest rate, the monthly instalment and payment date, and the number of payments still due – you will find all this information on your monthly statements.
- Late or part payments negatively impact your credit record. Check that you are paying each account in full and on the due date. If you cannot afford the full repayments or if you cannot make the payments on the agreed dates, speak to your credit provider immediately.
- Ideally, you should use only a third of the credit you already have. So, if you have a credit card or a store account with a limit of R1,000, keep the amount owing balance under R350.
- Reduce your debt by paying more than the minimum payment required each month – even if it is just R100 extra.
- Check your credit report at least once a year for incorrect information, negative information that should be removed, and activity that could indicate that you are the victim of identity theft.
Credit – when managed properly and consciously – can help you achieve your dreams and goals. Take control of your credit today and build a strong, healthy credit record – help from a qualified financial coach is just a click away!