Mar
18

It’s Time to Spring Clean Your Credit

March 18, 2012

FreeScoreSpring is the time of year that we really want to rejuvenate ourselves and organize our homes and lives. One important aspect of that is getting our finances in order.

In “Give Your Credit a Spring Cleaning,” the experts at FreeScore go through some of the steps you can take to get a clearer picture of your credit situation.

CreditCards.com recently addressed this objective and identified six easy steps to clear out the clutter in your finances. Here are a few of their suggestions:

Clean Out Your File Cabinets: Shred old paper documents. According to IRS rules, we have to keep records on federal returns for 3 years. Older returns and statements for nondeductible expenses can be shredded once payments have been posted to your account. Further reduce clutter by going paperless – contact your bank, credit card, utility and other companies to sign up for online bill paying. But be sure to organize your electronic records in files that are neatly arranged and always back up your electronic files, just in case your computer crashes. Protect important paper documents in a fire-proof safe at home or a safe deposit box at your bank.

Get Your Payments in Order: Most Americans have debt spread out across multiple credit cards, with varying balances and interest rates. Gather up this information, combine it into one document that shows your balances and then establish a plan to pay off your debt, starting with the highest-interest rate debts first. Also set up expenses like the cable, car and mortgage bills for automatic payments, which will keep you from missing a payment and incurring a late fee.

Shop Around: Look for better interest rates. Research lower rates for credit cards, mortgages and car loans. Many lenders will be able to lower your rates. Look online and also pick up the phone and call – it never hurts to ask. But, before you do, go online to see if you have good credit. This may make lenders more willing to lower interest rates.

Another important thing to do right now: get familiar with your credit report. This will help you deal with any discrepancies and inaccuracies in your credit. FreeScore gives its members easy access to all three of their credit scores and reports from the three major credit bureaus. It also helps them avoid unwelcome surprises by providing 24/7 credit monitoring at all three bureaus and automatic email alerts of changes to their credit reports.

Categories: Economy

About The Author

Read All Stories By Mitch Levinson

Mitch Levinson is the author of “Internet Marketing: The Key to Increased New Home Sales” published by BuilderBooks. He is an Internet marketing expert with expertise in search engine optimization, website development, email marketing, social media and CRM consulting services. He is known for creating effective programs that can be tracked through analytics to prove effectiveness and ROI. Mitch is founder and president of MLC New Home Marketing and MLC FlatFee Realty, as well as managing partner of mRELEVANCE, LLC, a Marketing, Communication, Interactive agency with offices in Chicago and Atlanta. He currently leads the Chicago team. A Multi-Million Dollar Sales Producer who earned an MBA in Computer Information Systems and eCommerce, he brings a unique perspective and experience to the field of real estate communications. Mitch combines the two interests in order to help home builders and developers gain a competitive advantage through the Internet and technology. When he isn’t behind a computer, he enjoys participating in sports and coaching his kids’ teams. Mitch resides in Arlington Heights, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago, with his family, which includes two rambunctious labs. Visit my Google+ profile.

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