I had just finally started reaping the reward of earning my Master's Degree, and so I was determined to get my finances in order. What did the damage even look like? I had no clue. I just knew that my freshman year of college I had been sent a number of credit cards, and despite the lengthy speeches from my dad I opened up new lines of credits. Now, there is nothing wrong with credit cards IF you are responsible. But my 19 year old self was anything but that. I was working at Papa Johns and in college full-time. I wasn't thinking about what my credit utilization rate was... or what being reported as late to any credit bureaus meant.. I don't even think I knew what it (credit bureau) was.
As I got older, I knew I had to pay attention to my finance, build my savings, and hopefully own property. So here are some tips on how to begin to get your finances in order:
1. Read, Read, Read, and then watched some YouTube videos. Yes. I watched YouTube videos to learn about credit and the proper use of credit cards. There are SO many people who break down what a score is and how credit cards can help you boost it. I'll link some of the videos that helped me below.
2. Found out what my credit score was. I put this at number 2 on my list because I wanted to get any and every resource to fix any issues I came across. Now there are a number of free sites that can give you access to your score on the regular like: CreditKarma, Credit Sesame, NerdWallet, etc. - But you are allowed ONE free credit report per year. If you're working on increasing your score and need the most updated score, put aside some money per month and pay for your FICO scores. These are your REAL live scores. You'll get alerts each time your score moves.
3. Opened up 2 more lines of credit. Yup you heard right. I needed some revolving lines of credit. Once I had these plastic squares in my possession, I called up my credit card companies to find out when my statement closed each month and marked it on my calendar. Now, I didn't plan on going on an shopping sprees like my old 19 year old self would've done.... I planned to let my credit card work for me and help me in boosting my credit score. How? By only using below 30% of your credit limit, you're showing creditors that you can manage your finances. This also will boost your credit score by 20-30 points a month.
Are you ready to get your finances on track?
Read these books:
Total Money Makeover - Dave Ramsey
Live Richer Challenge - The Budgetnista
Million Dollar Habit - Brian Tracey
Check out these videos for some tips: