Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Weekly Savings Tip: July 14, 2009

Maintaining Good Credit in Turbulent Times

Sustaining a good credit score can be difficult when you are unemployed and money is tight. Here are some tips to maintain your financial health.

• Immediately evaluate expenditures, bills and financial accounts for strengths and weaknesses. Adjust your budget accordingly and minimize discretionary spending. Identify where you can lower or perhaps cut out expenses for entertainment, dining out and vacation or holiday travel.

• Contact your financial institution to inquire if it offers a hardship program. If so, you may be able to negotiate a payment plan that may include reduced interest rates and/or a lower monthly payment.

• Understand the impact that cancelling a credit card will have on your credit score. If the card is one that you've had for some time and consistently paid off, it could negatively affect your credit rating.

A credit score is based on your bill-paying history, debt profile and other statistical information. Lenders use this to determine the likelihood of certain credit behaviors, including whether you will pay on time. Closed accounts, liens, bankruptcies and late payments are a few of the financial missteps that can negatively impact your credit score for up to 11 years.

Remember to make looking for a job your top priority. If you need more help, go to fixing your credit score, or visit 360 Financial Literacy’s website.

Visit www.FeedthePig.org for more money-saving tips.

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