Posts Tagged ‘credit score’

Four Apps To Kick Start Your Savings

SavingsI often hear stories from creative professionals about their difficulties saving money. I completely understand. When faced with a project today for our art versus some far off goal, it’s hard to put away a dollar that could help right now.

Yet, I also know that the only way to financial independence is to save for the future. Every dollar we spend now is a dollar that could have secured our dreams forever, instead of just duct taping them today.

So let’s make saving easier by utilizing technology to help reach our goals. Here are four resources to get you started. (more…)

How to Take Advantage of Low Interest Rates

Part 1 – Check Your Credit

It’s time for some good news, isn’t it?

Don’t look now, but interest rates are at record lows. Whether you own a home, car, or have a credit card, it’s a wonderful time to begin exploring ways to lower your interest rate. Here’s the really, really good news: a lower interest rate will probably mean lower payments. This can give you financial breathing room to focus on your craft or pay down debt more quickly.

Today, I’d like to make sure you can participate in the interest rate game. Once we’ve solved that problem, we’ll talk later about how to refinance your debt. Sound good? Great!

Let’s move on these steps to check your credit report:

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Daily ProsperiTIP

According to Fair Isaac, the company that builds the FICO score, the single biggest contributor to a good credit score is your payment history.

Missing a payment or paying late are two of the biggest detractors from a good score. Here are some tricks to make sure payments are made on time each month:

  • Sign up for automatic payments. If you allow the company to withdraw the minimum amount due from your account each month, you’ll still have the option of paying more to reduce the loan size.
  • Schedule set times to pay bills each week. By keeping a “budget meeting” each week, you’re less likely to get distracted by other tasks. If for some reason you must miss your budget work, make sure and reschedule the time in your calendar.
  • Drop unnecessary credit cards. I’ve witnessed people getting in trouble with a card they use infrequently, then forget to pay later. Use a single credit card for all of your purchases or pay cash.

The Most Important Score in Your Financial Life

I pulled my car into a garage to have the oil changed this week. I realized during this process how closely some of these financial topics mirror auto repair jargon. Sometimes it takes all of my acting experience to pretend I know what a mechanic means when he’s explaining the difference between types of oil. I’m terrified he’ll recognize me as the not-sure-where-the-oil-goes person I am, and suddenly the cost of my car repair magically skyrockets.

As I’m smart enough to realize that there are auto-related facts I must know to keep my costs down, it’s similar with some financial concepts. One number may save you more money than any other in your financial life. It’s called a FICO score. This number tells lenders how reliable you are with payments to debt. People with high credit scores are offered lower interest rates to borrow. They’re also often given better repayment terms.

Knowing your score became more important than ever a couple months ago when Bank of America changed their fee structure. (more…)