Your Financial Health

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How to look after your financial health in times of uncertainty

Financial Health

During these uncertain economic times, many people are having difficulty paying their monthly bills. Whether you fall into that group or not, it’s important that you take steps to protect your financial future. Here are some considerations to take today to save you from budgetary burdens tomorrow.

  1.  Prioritize Your Expenses

The first and most important step to safeguarding your savings is to decide which bills are most vital to your livelihood. This worksheet from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can help make those tough decisions a little easier.

  1. Cut the Excess

Once you’ve prioritized your expenses, you’ll have a good sense of what you need and what you don’t. Anything that falls into the latter category should be discontinued until a later date, and anything considered a necessity should be revisited each month to make sure it still belongs there.

  1. Know the CARES Act

The government’s $2 trillion emergency stimulus package is loaded with important information for US citizens. With benefits like eviction relief, a moratorium on foreclosures, and the opportunity to defer or reduce mortgage payments, the CARES Act has a lot to offer beyond a stimulus check.

  1. Try Negotiating

From landlords to cable providers, many bill collectors are showing extraordinary empathy during these unprecedented times. If they can’t defer or reduce your fees, they may be willing to add some other kind of incentive as a show of good faith. As the adage goes, “You’ll never know unless you ask.”

  1. Consider Your Credit Cards

Charges, whether recurring or one-off, can add up quickly on your credit card statement. Take the time every week to review your statements in detail and identify those one-off charges that are adding up. Then, consider which recurring bills are worth keeping and which should be cut. Lastly, consider calling up your credit card company to renegotiate annual fees or interest rates.

Additionally, don’t forget that refinancing your mortgage or shopping around for better rates on home insurance may lighten your financial burden. If you’d like to learn more about the low-cost, high-value options available through me – Keller Mortgage and Keller Covered – let me know.

These suggestions are only the beginning. If you’d like to discuss more ways to strengthen your bottom line, shoot us a text or phone call at any time. We may not have all the answers you’re looking for, but we will do whatever we can to find them.

Great Lakes Home Team is here to help you with your real estate questions or needs. We have helped so many families sell their home or find their dream home. Do you want to know how much is your home worth is worth, Click here?
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Improve Your Credit Score

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creditscore10 Tips to Improve Your Credit Score 

There are no quick fixes for improving your credit score but over time you can raise it by consistently managing your finances.

  1. Pay your bills on time – This is the best way to improve your score.  It is never to late, find a system (calendar, App) to keep you on track. If you are going to be late, don’t avoid your creditors keep in contact with them.
  2. Keep credit card balances low – High outstanding debt can pull down your score. Don’t max out your credit cards all the time.
  3. Check your credit report for accuracy – It is possible there may be inaccurate information on your credit report that can be easily cleared up.  It this is the case, then you should contact the three credit reporting agencies to get it corrected (TransUnion, Experian, Equifax)
  4. Pay off debt rather than moving it around – Consolidating your credit card debt onto one care or spreading it over multiple cards will not improve your score in the long run.  The most effective way to improve your score is by simply paying down the amount you owe.
  5. Keep your credit cards – manage them responsibly – In general, having credit cards and installments loans that you pay on time will raise your score.  Someone who has no credit cards tends to have a lower score than someone who has managed credit cards responsibly.
  6. Don’t open multiple accounts too quickly – Opening too many accounts in too short of a time period can look risky because you are taking on a lot of possible debt.  Too many inquiries can hurt your credit score.
  7. Don’t open accounts you do not need – This approach could backfire and actually lower your score.
  8. Don’t close an account to remove it from your record – It is a myth that closing an account removes it from your credit report. In fact, closing accounts can sometimes hurt your score.
  9. Shop for a loan within a short period of time – FICO scores distinguish between a search for a single loan and a search for many new credit lines based in part on the length of time over which recent requests for credit occur.  If you shop for too many loans over a long length of time this could hurt your score.
  10. Contact your creditors or see a legitimate credit counselor if you are having financial difficulties –  This won’t improve your score, but the sooner you start managing your finances well and making timely payments will improve your score overtime.

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