Make Your Credit and Debt Plan
Good credit and successful debt management don’t just happen overnight. It takes time and energy to monitor your spending and put together a plan to increase your credit profile.
As you have seen, using credit is a valuable tool but you need to keep five key points in mind:
- There is a cost. You will pay more in the end if you have to buy on credit. Borrow wisely.
- Don’t use credit to spend frivolously. If you can’t repay with a reasonable time frame, you shouldn’t borrow money to finance the purchase.
- Read the fine print. Always know what you are being charged and when.
- Pay as much as you can as early as you can. This helps keep your credit report in good standing and reduces compound interest and fees.
- Strive to achieve and maintain good credit. If you want the best terms and rates, keep your credit report in good standing.
Consider everything you have learned about using credit wisely and these five key points. Write out a few personal guidelines you will follow when considering whether or not to use credit. Include any self-imposed rules and habits you can apply as you take on credit. For example, you might set intentions to “charge no more than $200 on credit cards each month” and “pay credit card bill in full to avoid paying interest.”
Use the Credit and Debt Plan Worksheet to set your own credit guidelines.