Back in our parents and grandparents day, credit might have been a tab kept on a sheet of paper or in a composition notebook at the local Mom and Pop store. 

You would let your tab (things you needed, but could not pay for at the time) run until the end of the week, normally payday, and then settled your debt.

If you could not afford to pay in full, you paid what you could and sometimes added new debt as your household needs were continuous. 

When you use credit as revolving debt, you never get off the ride. Credit should be used as a means to an end, not as a way of life.

Fortunately, in those days, the store owner was probably your neighbor or close friend who knew you were purchasing items that were necessary and understood your family dynamics.

Well today, big companies do not know you and do not care about your issues.  They want the monies borrowed paid back and paid back on time. 

Credit is easy to use in the swipe age, but swiping can be very seductive in persuading you to spend more than you can afford. 

As I stated last week, one of the main keys to financial security is to spend less than you earn.  Using credit unwisely can definitely eat away at your future. 

This practice can become an issue if people are not taught early about personal finance. Our habits are usually formed at this stage and it takes courage and discipline to change those habits and then stick to those changes.

The unhealthy use of credit is where many people get into trouble as they are usually supporting a lifestyle. They charge more on their cards than they can afford to pay in full and continue this practice each month.

I do understand that personal issues arise and we may need to lean on credit during tough times. 

However; if you start early with the mindset of saving for that rainy day, you can possibly delay or never start the habit of depending heavily on credit.  Here are a couple of tips to help you boost your credit score:

(1) pay your bills on time; some creditors will report late payments as early as 31 days, and 

(2) do not charge more than you can afford to pay in full each month or at least have a plan to pay off the balance sooner rather than later. 

These habits can improve your score as much as 20 points. So, if your credit score is below prime (under 620); just executing these two tips, will boost your score.

With an increased credit score, lenders can then offer you better rates costing you less over time and in turn, you reap the savings.

The real benefit here would be to use those funds to decrease your other debt and add to your personal savings. Remember to spend cautiously and pay swiftly.

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