Three Credit Lessons to Live By

Published on Oct 03, 2013 01:52 pm

It’s normal to want a sure thing – the most effective diet, investment accounts that only go up, a romance guaranteed to lead to happily ever after. Unfortunately, life isn’t so predictable. But when it comes to paying attention to your credit, here are a few great habits to develop that could be good for your financial health.

Pay All Your Bills On TimeAs simple as it sounds, it can also be easy to forget this basic chore. If it helps, change your mentality around this monthly must-do and relish in the responsibility and accomplishment. Every time you pay your bills on time – even if you’re only paying the minimum amount due – you’re satisfying your personal credit profile. Even missing a payment once or twice can negatively impact your credit profile.

Think Twice Before You Close a Credit Card AccountIt may seem like it shouldn’t matter. However, closing a credit card account – even if it’s one that you never use – can skew your credit utilization ratio and average age of your credit accounts, two important factors that are considered in the calculation of your credit score.

Check Your Credit Report RegularlyJust because you don’t anticipate needing your credit score in the near future – for a loan or rental application, for example – doesn’t mean you don’t need to know your credit. Get in the habit of reviewing your credit report at least once a year. At best, you’ll see your good habits helping your credit score and will be motivated to keep up the good work. At worst, you’ll see that you need to change your ways.

Ben Franklin said “nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” It’s also a near certainty that considering these three credit lessons could be beneficial to your personal credit profile.

This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.

Published by permission from, Inc.  © 2013, Inc.  All rights reserved.

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