Are you ready to face the year 2012? It’s always good to start the year right, particularly when it comes to financing. Consider the following tips:
Shop around and compare. If you plan to buy anything, spend a little more time shopping. Compare prices online and don’t forget to check the merchant’s reputation. The same rule applies for consumers who plan to apply for a credit card or a loan. Never sign up for the first offer you see, no matter how attractive the deal seems to be. Use the internet to compare credit cards and loan deals from various lenders.
Start building an emergency fund. It’s the year 2012 and if you have not yet started building your personal fund for emergencies, then it’s about time that you do. An emergency fund is easily accessible when unexpected expenses arise. This way, you don’t have to rely on short term loans or payday loans with high interest rates when in need of immediate cash.
Set a monthly spending limit and stick to it. Create a definite budget plan that you can follow each month to make sure that you do not spend more than what you can afford. See to it that you will have sufficient cash to pay off all your monthly bills along with your personal expenses.
Do not use your credit card for unplanned purchases. Avoid using your credit card to pay for unimportant purchases. If you fail to pay off your monthly balance in full, you will incur the additional interest rate charges plus the late fees which can quickly lead to debt build-up.Monitor your credit report regularly. Consumers are entitled to receive free credit reports from the three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion) once each year. If you would like to order your free report for 2012, all you have to do is visit www.annualcreditreport.com – the only resource authorized by the government to distribute free consumer credit reports.
However, it is recommended that you check your personal credit report at least twice a year or every six months. Furthermore, you should check your report at least a month in advance if you plan to apply for a credit card or a loan. Checking your credit history gives you the opportunity to correct credit report errors by sending a letter to the bureau that issued your report.
Pay all your creditors on time. Timely payment is very important regardless of the type of credit or account you own. See to it that you pay all your monthly utility bills on time such as your cable, internet, electricity and other service providers. Of course, you need to pay close attention to your credit card due dates as well as your monthly loan payments.
If you are presently in the middle of a personal loan, car loan or mortgage loan repayment, you should be particularly aware of your schedule. Take note that missing your mortgage payments for two or three consecutive months can lead to foreclosure.
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