Sure you’ve heard about having healthy credit, but what exactly does that mean? We’ve developed some checklists to help you make sure that your credit score is good, as well as reasons why it’s a good idea to keep an eye on it.
Skipping an instalment or using a lot of credit may seem like a good idea at the time, but bad credit can keep you from moving forward when you need credit most. For example, bad credit scores can prevent you from getting a home loan or purchasing a vehicle. So, having healthy credit is an advantage.
When you have a healthy credit score:
- you don’t have too much debt.
- you pay your monthly instalments on time.
- you don’t have too many accounts.
A healthy credit record will also mean that you have a higher credit score.
How your credit history works
Your credit history contains the following information:
- How much debt you have.
- How many accounts you have.
- How much credit you’ve used.
- If you make your minimum payments monthly and on time.
Your score is calculated, using this information, to decide whether you can afford to get the credit. All of this info is also available on your credit report, which you can access once a year for free. Contact the main credit reporting agencies (TransUnion ITC and Experian). (links at end)
Remember to be walletwise, and keep an eye on your credit score to see where you need to improve.
Keep an eye on your spending and debit orders
You can also keep an eye on your credit throughout the year by looking at your monthly bank statements. Scan through them to ensure all of the debit orders have been authorised by you, not been rejected for payment and if they have, contact your creditors and bank immediately.
Make your credit history work for you
Here’s a checklist of easy steps that you can take from today to make your credit and credit history work for you.
- Monthly – check for payments that have:
- not been made.
- have bounced or not been paid in full.
- contact your creditors and bank immediately if you find any of the above.
- keep an eye on your debt.
- don’t have too many accounts.
- remember that when you use credit, you have to pay back with interest. So, only take it for essential items that you cannot save for or afford in one go, such as assets.
- Get your credit report once a year.
To find out more about using credit wisely, click here or visit WalletWise website.
Read more WalletWise.