Spring Cleaning Your Finances
To spring clean your finances, you need to know 3 numbers – your credit score, your loan rates and your total debt. Once you have these numbers, you can start some deep spring cleaning to clear away the cobwebs and spruce up those finances.
1. Check your credit score
- You can request a free copy of your credit report from each of three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax®, Experian®, and TransUnion® – once each year at AnnualCreditReport.com
- Check for incorrect reporting, different names or addresses being reported, etc. File a report with the credit agency to report and correct any misinformation. Even little report mistakes can have a huge impact on your credit.
- If your score is lower than you want it to be, take steps to improve it like
- Paying bills on time (Tools like Online Bill Pay can help automate this)
- Lowering overall debt (pay down high interest credit cards with a balance transfer)
2. Double check your loan rates
- Rates are still low, but they’re heading back up. Don’t wait! Talk to Cornerstone representative about possibly lowering your auto loan rate. This can help you either pay of your loan faster or lower your monthly payment so you can save the difference.
- Check into refinancing your mortgage or home equity loans, as well, either with your current lender or a local credit union.
3. Total up your debt
- If you have credit card debt, see if you can do a credit card balance transfer. Look for a card with no annual fee and no balance transfer fees like CCF’s Visa Platinum card.
- Some cards offer a low introductory rate for balance transfers, which can save you tons of money in interest.
- Refrain from going into more debt by switching to debit card or cash to pay for things and don’t run up the balance on the credit card again.
- If you can use your credit card for monthly expenses and then pay it off each month, then it’s fine to use your credit card, but if it’s just ballooning your debt, it’s better to switch to debit.