Banking, Credit, and Debt Savings Tips
Pay off credit cards in full each month if you can, but at least make your minimum payment. The miles and cash-back are only valuable if you're not falling into debt or paying interest
Start with a goal of reducing your credit card debt by just $1,000. That $1,000 debt is a realistic goal to start with, no matter the large amount of debt you have acquired..
Check your credit report for free once a year. Use your annual free credit report from the three credit reporting bureaus to look for inaccuracies or opportunities to raise your score. Credit scores are used by loan providers, landlords, and others to determine what they’ll sell you, and at what price.
Pay all of your bills on auto-pay. This ensures they are paid on time, in full to avoid late charges. As a bonus, some loan providers offer a small interest rate deduction if you enroll in auto-pay. Just make sure you keep the amount in your account to avoid any overdraft fees.
Get free debt counseling. The most widely available help managing your debt is with a Consumer Credit Counseling Services (CCCS) counselor. CCCS’ network of non-profit counselors can work with you confidentially and judgement-free to help you develop a budget, figure out your options, and negotiate with creditors to repay your debts. Best of all, the 45-90 minute counseling sessions are free of charge and come with no obligations. Get started here.
Freeze your credit, literally. If you are having trouble controlling your credit card use, but don't want to cut up your credit card in case you need it at some point, freeze your credit card in a bag of water. Needing to thaw your card will force you to really consider the purchase before you make it. Or you can contact your credit card companies and ask if they will put a temporary hold on your card.