There is perhaps no better time than the start of a new year to get a fresh start on your finances! From your credit score to your credit cards to your retirement plan, now is the time to sit down, take stock of where you are, and make a plan to get to where you want to be by the end of 2021.
Not sure what your credit score is? If you are not sure what your credit score is, then you know exactly where to start, don’t you? You can get your credit score, and in most cases, your credit report for free online in any one of a dozen or more places. From your bank to your credit cards, nearly every financial institution is offering free access these day.
Once you have that information in hand, sit down and review it completely. Are all of the accounts listed on the report yours? What is your credit score? What can you do to improve your score? Make a list. Then, move on to the next step.
Take a look at your credit cards. Are the balances too high? Experts recommend that you keep the balances on your credit cards below 33% in order to maintain your credit score. If your credit card balances are above this threshold, paying them down should be a top priority. Once you’ve looked at your balances, then it’s time to look at your interest rates. Are you paying too much interest each month? Perhaps your credit has improved over the past year, and you’ve gone from bad credit to fair credit, or fair to good. If that’s the case, there may be better options than your current credit card providers, enabling you to save money on interest. You may even qualify for a balance transfer card with a 0% introductory rate. But you will never know unless you compare those credit cards to others that are out there.
Finally, take a look at your budget. Where can you cut expenses? Where can you save money? How much more could you put into savings each week or month? Even though 2020 was a really difficult year for all of us, getting a fresh start in 2021 may be easier than you think. You just have to start somewhere. Are you ready for a fresh start?
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