Ben Franklin once said "early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." Unfortunately, Ben wasn't able to predict the complicated financial world we live in and how difficult it can be to stay on the path to prosperity. The health of your credit is measured by a number of factors. On-time payments, length of account history, and number of open credit lines all matter to lenders. As you build a history with creditors, lenders are more likely to extend you credit for a new car, home, or other major purchase. Just like annual trips to the doctor, you should keep up with your credit health by pulling a yearly credit report to check for signs of "disease" such as erroneous reports or identity theft.
There's no denying that the health of your credit score ties directly in with your overall wealth. Keeping a high credit score makes you more attractive to lenders, which means they can offer lower interest rates. Knowing you can be pre-approved for a loan or credit card could make a big difference when it comes to making a big purchase. But you should still make an effort to pay off balances quickly. The real "wealth" in a credit score is your payment history. Every time you pay a credit card bill, car payment, or mortgage on time, lenders deposit a little more good credit into your report. You can always recover from a missed payment or two, but don't let it become a habit. Your attention to good credit will pay off. A low-interest credit card with a reasonable balance can help you make purchases on sale, occasionally carry over the gap between paychecks, and pay for emergencies such as car trouble or unexpected illness.
Financial wisdom is accumulated over time as you learn exactly what works best for you and your budget. Making wise choices such as paying on time and choosing financing with low interest rates will result in lower payments, higher credit lines, and access to the best lenders. There are financing options for people with poor credit, but they're often more expensive. Ben Franklin's old adage is sage advice, but you'll still need to work to keep your credit "healthy, wealthy, and wise." As you navigate the process of taking out a loan or trying to repair bad credit, you may need a little help along the way. A credit counselor can get you on the right path to a successful financial future. Contact Trinity Credit Services for help from a trusted credit counselor.