4 Steps to Creating Good Credit

Establishing good credit habits and therefore a good credit rating will improve your credit worthiness.  This will be reflected in potential lenders offering you substantially lower interest rates and better deals on credit offers.

As a consumer you’ve learned the importance of establishing a good credit rating with your lenders.  Whether you are shopping for a new home or auto, or searching for the best deals on insurance, your credit worthiness will be judged by your credit rating or credit score.

A bad credit history or bad credit habits will place black marks on your credit profile.  These include things such as late payments, having an account assigned to a collection agency, and of course bankruptcy.

Here are 4 tips to help you create a shining credit profile:

1) Pay Your Bills On Time

Lenders only have your past payment history on which to decide the type of credit risk you present to them.  How you pay off your debts now indicates to them how you will pay off future debts.

2) Don’t Use Too Many or Too Few Credit Cards

How much is too much ? How little is too little ? Many credit experts and financial planners suggest two to four credit cards is just the right mix.    

3) Pay At Least The Minimum Due

Always pay at least the minimum due payment, but never less.  And remember, just paying the minimum payment means it will take you years and years to pay off that credit card. 

Example: Paying off a $2,000 credit payment at 18% APR with a minimum monthly payment of 2% ($40 dollars or less) will take you 30 years to pay off the amount plus interest.

4) Review Your Credit Report Regularly

Monitor your credit report from all three major credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax – on a regular basis.  Check your credit profile at least annually.   Review it carefully and make sure that any past mistakes or disputes have been corrected.

Also, if you notice an account listed that you know that you have not personally opened, contact that creditor and the credit bureaus immediately.  This could be a sign that you’ve had your identity stolen.  Request to have a fraud alert placed on your profile and account to protect yourself and your credit.  Identity theft is the fastest growing consumer crime in America, with an estimated 1 million people victimized each year.

Establish good credit habits early in life and reap the benefits that your good credit rating will provide you for the rest of your financial future.

Need Help With Your Credit & Finance? Enroll into Our Credit Builder Program.

Advice for College

Harvard

Fall is here. For some, this fall is especially exciting because it marks their freshman year of college. First of all, congratulations! It took a lot of work to make it to college. You are one step closer to an amazing future. Although you’ve worked hard to make it to your institution, it’s going to take even more work to get out of there with your degree.

In the first couple weeks of college, your advisors and RAs will bombard you with colorful orientation packets. The packets will tell you how to use the college’s libraries, gyms, and dining halls, but the packets won’t warn you about the racism you might face on campus.

I’ll tell you the same wise words that I was told my second year in college. “You are a black-eyed pea in a sea of grits”. People might not like you because of the color of your skin.  Others will think that the only reason why you’re in college is because you’re Black. Oh and people might try to date or hook-up with you just because you’re a Black woman.

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Be prepared! The list of the possible forms of racism can go on and on. If it’s not the blatant racism, then it’s the hipster racism. Since person A has Black friend and listens to Kanye West, then person A can be as racist as possible and it doesn’t matter. It’s a fault in logic that you might hear from several liberal students on campus.

When you’re trying to decide who will be a part of your squad, be careful. Just because they blast Kendrick Lamar’s new album and say that Beyoncé is their spirit animal, doesn’t mean that they have good intentions. In college, friendships are important. They can help you get free meal swipes, but more importantly, when you’re having a crisis or a struggling with your classes, your friends are there to support you.

College will be hard. Tomfoolery, which you’ve never seen before, will start appearing in every corner. You’re true friends will stand by your side and help you fight off the discrimination that’s prevalent on campus. You’ve earned your spot to be at your university, and now it’s time to earn your degree. If any of you have faced discrimination while in college, how did your friends help you through it?