Are You a Credit Score Wannabe?
These days, it´s not about who has the flashier designer clothes or the faster
car - it´s about who has the higher credit score! That´s because the better
your score, the better position you´re in to manage your financial future.
Start the New Year off right by seeing what all 3 national credit Bureaus are
reporting about you. Upgrade to your 3-Bureau Credit Report and receive your
Credit Scores FREE
Why? Believe it or not, having a strong credit score is one of best ways to
save money, says financial lifestyle expert Denise Winston, founder of Money
Start Here, which produces financial seminars and DVDs. "Your credit score can
determine if you get your dream job, your auto insurance rates, the cost of
future loans, if a landlord will rent you an apartment, and much more," she
In order to become a "first class" credit user, start by adopting the
strategies of these top-tier score holders.
Credit is No Laughing Matter: Jim Dailakis
Credit Score: 760
New York City-based actor/comedian Jim Dailakis may be a clown on stage, but
when it comes to his financial status, he's straight as an arrow. The
Australian-born performer owns two homes and pays his bills on time without
His strategy: "I see when the due date is and then put it on my
electronic calendar on my computer," Dailakis explains. Then, he says, he makes
sure he has enough to pay the total amount, to the penny, every time.
Why you should try it: "It's very liberating not to feel the ‘wolf´
pounding at my door," says Dailakis. "I´ve definitely acquired financial
Lesson learned: Keeping up with your credit can be a challenge, says
credit consultant Wayne Sanford of YourCreditSpecialist.com. He suggests
setting up an online auto-pay. "This way, you can have the amount you need
transfer directly to your creditor and not pay any extra fees."
Extra Credit: Anna del C. Dye
Credit Score: 804
Anna del C. Dye, a new-fantasy author from Salt Lake City, UT, is proud of her
long-lasting marriage as well as her financial acumen over the years.
Her strategy: "When my husband got a raise 10 years ago, we opted to add
it to the principal in our mortgage rather than our monthly expenses," says
Dye. "We lived on the same income as before and paid our house faster."
Why you should try it: "Our house is ours and so is everything in it,"
says Dye. "Now we can eat out more often, help others, go to the movies more
often, and travel around the world. We get to play and have fun when we are
Lesson learned: "Our culture´s lenient attitude toward debt is harmful,"
says Peter Dunn, personal finance expert and author of 60 Days to Change. "If
you want great credit, you must develop an urgency to become debt-free."
Divorced from Bad Credit: Tammie Aaron-Barrada
Credit Score: 789
Tammie Aaron-Barrada´s first husband essentially ruined her credit just by
having his name on her cards, and running her into debt. After they broke it
off, she was left to claim bankruptcy. The entrepreneur and inventor from Ruffs
Dale, PA, has since made rebuilding her credit top priority.
Her strategy: Aaron-Barrada had to make wise decisions to reestablish her
credit standing. She took out 90-day same-as-credit accounts to buy new
furniture that she could afford, as well as made sure she put utilities in her
name and paid those bills on time.
Why you should try it: Aaron-Barrada says having great credit gives her
peace of mind, should an emergency ever arise. Building back up to a high
credit limit means she won´t be left high and dry ever again, and has a better
credit score to show for it.
Lesson learned: "When you make someone a joint-account holder or you
co-sign a loan, you become fully responsible," warns Denise Winston. She
recommends checking your potential spouse´s credit report and finding out if he
or she owes back taxes.
"Your credit score has the potential to determine the quality of your life,"
says Winston. "It can potentially cost you thousands, if not hundreds of
thousands, of dollars over your lifetime."
Your Credit Score is calculated using the same kind of information creditors,
landlords and employers use when considering their relationship with you,
particularly if they want to have one. This can affect the terms or rates you
are able to receive. To make sure your Credit Score is all it can be, check and
maintain your credit report regularly. Even if it´s just to take advantage of
the tools and resources available to help you better understand your credit.
Resolve to stay on top of your credit this year. Gain an upper hand on your
credit when you review all three of your Credit Reports and receive your
Credit Scores FREE