With the holidays coming up, your spending might also go up. The holidays are filled with exciting events, fantastic deals on all your favorite items and fun get togethers with the people you love most. Unfortunately they can also be filled with late payments, fraud, credit applications on a whim and high card balances. The good news is there are some things you can keep in mind while out having a good time so your credit score doesn’t fail and so you can actually improve credit.
Take Advantage of Your Smartphone
You have a smartphone for a reason, so take advantage of some of the perks on it! Download a budgeting app and only stick to your budget when you’re deciding on gifts to buy, decorations to purchase and events to attend.
Your smartphone also has reminders and alarms, so don’t let them go to waste. Set alarms to remind you when payment due dates are. Set a few reminders if you’re worried the holidays will be too busy for you to pay attention to the first one. When you are late on a payment, it makes the biggest dent to your credit report and will typically hang around for at least seven years. Though time and prompt payments moving forward will remedy that negative mark, it could be the one thing that keeps you from being able to improve credit score histories in the meantime.
Don’t Let Store Cards Take Advantage of You
It’s going to be tempting when a store clerk explains how you can “save 20% by opening a store card today!” Don’t fall victim to these offers, as there could be a lot that you run into while shopping for the perfect gifts for your family and friends. Store cards typically have higher rates with smaller credit limits. What this means is they have high credit utilization which is not the best for your score. If you open too many accounts, you may not be able to keep up with the payments.
Hang On to Unused Credit Cards
If you are somehow able to pay off a credit card during the holidays, don’t promptly call to have it cancelled. Your credit-utilization ratio is based off the amount of credit you have available compared to how much you are using. If you cancel the card, your available credit immediately drops, which makes the credit you are currently using look higher as well. This is not good to have on your credit history.
Instead, leave the card at home when you go shopping. You don’t have to use it, but at least keep it around for a while to keep your score where you want it to be.
Hang On to Used Credit Cards
Unfortunately, fraud is everywhere you look. Because you’ll probably be using your credit cards more often during the holidays, fraudsters have more opportunities to steal from you. If you make online purchases, you are especially at risk, as criminals are finding more successful ways to use your accounts without actually having your card in their possession.
It might be wise during this busy time of year, and even for some time after, to check your credit card accounts on a weekly basis. If you’re particularly worried, you could check more often. If you have a shared account with someone, be sure you speak with him or her if you notice any charges that seem suspicious. If there are charges that don’t add up, contact your creditor right away to begin working through the fraud.
You Have More Options Than You Might Realize
If you do find yourself in a situation in which you could use a boost to your credit score, try utilizing tradelines as an option to improve credit score histories for you or your family members. Partnering with other individuals who have high limit credit cards, you are temporarily authorized on their accounts. Though you don’t have actual access to use their cards, their perfect histories transfer to your score. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s legal and it gives you that credit score increase to continue qualifying for the credit options you need.
Get Started Today
Coast Tradelines is a leader in the industry, with low prices for the tradelines that will work best for your situation. Whether you’re worried the holidays are going to destroy your credit, or you’ve already found yourself in such a situation, contact us today at 619-363-1472 or fill in our online form to learn more.