Credit can make or break consumers. To paraphrase a Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem, “When it is good, it is very, very good, but when it is bad, it is horrid.”
Credit creeps into one’s ability to secure a car loan, home mortgage, line of equity and low interest rate. It also can determine whether a job applicant will be offered a position within a company. It affects families, friends and fun in life.
October 20th is the day to fix it. Get Smart About Credit Day is a national holiday that encourages and inspires Americans, especially young adults, to rein in their spending habits and learn what is very, very good and what is horrid when it comes to credit.
“To shed some light on the severity of the situation, one need only look at the average American household and the debt that it holds,” according to the Days of the Year Web site, which states that most have incurred more than $15,000 in credit-card debt and $49,000 in student loans.
Visit our debt consolidation calculator to determine if you should consolidate your loans.
The American Bankers Association established Get Smart About Credit Day in an effort to enlighten consumers on ways to maintain and protect their credit scores. The association’s Web site offers both documents and tips on how to do so. Here are three of the tips:
Don’t max out your credit card
Just because it has a $50,000 limit doesn’t mean you need to go there.
Don’t pay late
Delinquency will tank your credit score and cost you extra, as credit-card companies love to charge late fees.
Pay attention to your credit score
“Have you ever just ignored your credit report or maybe put off getting your credit score because you were scared to see how low that score might be, or you just didn’t want to see the damage on your credit report?” the association’s Web site asks. “Well, putting your head in the sand and acting like an ostrich isn’t going to solve the problem. Only action will.”
For help with your credit, click here.