Healthy Financial Behaviors
In addition to knowing how to repair and build your credit, it’s also important to implement healthy financial behaviors. If you don’t have healthy financial behaviors, you’ll end up sabotaging your efforts to repair your credit.
Keep these items in mind as you continue to build your credit score.
Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is your total monthly debt divided by your gross monthly income. For example, if you have $1,000 in monthly debt and a gross monthly income of $10,000, your DTI ratio is 10%.
The lower your DTI ratio, the better.
For example, if you’re applying for a mortgage, you usually need a DTI ratio of less than 43% (most lenders really want to see below 36%). Additionally, mortgage studies indicate that if you have a high DTI, you’ll find it more challenging to make your monthly payments.
A budget helps you effectively manage your finances. It helps you calculate the amount of expenses you have every month and then balance those expenses against your income.
If you don’t have a budget, you may not have enough income to cover monthly credit payments.
When trying to get credit, like an auto loan, it’s really important to shop around. Different lenders offer different interest rates and fees, and these can significantly affect your monthly payment.
Compare different lenders against each other and go with the ones that offer you the best deal.
Few things can tank your credit score faster than fraud. If someone steals your identity, they can open up new credit accounts in your name, all of which go on your credit report and affect your score. If someone steals your credit card, they can rack up thousands of dollars in fraudulent purchases and then never make the payments.
It’s absolutely essential that you protect yourself against fraud. Keep a close watch on your credit statements for anything that looks suspicious. If you see anything, immediately contact the credit card issuer.
Also, you may want to use an app like Credit Karma, which allows you to constantly monitor your credit report.
If you see any accounts that you don’t recognize, get in touch with the credit bureaus as soon as possible.
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