Disclaimer: The following is a sponsored post by Lexington Law. All opinions are 100% my own.
The holidays are the perfect time to either destroy your credit score or take advantage of the holiday season to raise it tremendously.
There are so many tips and strategies you can use to dramatically increase your credit score during the holidays, which will, in turn, save you a ton of money for the following holiday season.
With a higher credit score, you can:
- Get the best rate for an auto loan
- Easier to get approved for a rental home
- Get a credit card with a low-interest rate
- Waive security deposits on utilities
When I applied for my dream rental house in Colorado, I was up against four other families. The house is not only in our budget, but has a yard for our dogs, and is in a safe, quiet neighborhood. You know what made me stand out among the other families? My credit score!
Below are ten ways to increase your credit score and take advantage of the holiday season.
1. Credit removals
Did you know you may have inaccurate or obsolete items on your credit card? Did you also know you can get them removed?
Lexington Law has 10+ years of experience acting as advocates for consumers who need help repairing their credit and making sure they have a fair, accurate, and substantiated credit report.
And if you don’t know your credit score, Lexington Law can give you a free credit report summary and credit repair consultation.
Lexington Law has helped clients with over 10 million removals in just 2017 alone and has helped clients remove inaccurate and unverifiable items (such as late payments, charge-offs, and more) from their credit score.
Getting false items removed from your credit report can potentially save you thousands of dollars.
If your credit score is hurting and it’s not your fault, should you be getting the consequences for that? No.
2. Create a shopping list with a budget
Before you start shopping, create a shopping list that fits into your budget.
Even better, budget out the money saved every month up until the holiday season, so you are prepared for the shopping season.
Figure out what you usually spend on average each season and divide that by 12.
Once you have your budget, create a shopping list that fits into your money saved for holiday shopping.
3. Use the shopping list to build credit
Once you have your shopping list and money kept ready for the holiday season, use your credit card to help build credit.
And when you’re finished shopping, make sure to put that money saved straight toward your credit card, so it doesn’t sit around building interest.
4. Or use cash for gifts
If you have too much credit card debt already, I recommend using cash only instead.
When you leave to go to the store, leave all credit cards at home and only bring cash specifically saved for the gift you have in mind.
It’s so tempting to spend more on a last minute gift you find and put it on a credit card, but remember that you have a goal in mind of saving money and increasing your credit score.
5. Pay off high-interest credit cards
High-interest credit cards are hurting you and making it almost impossible to pay these off.
Instead of paying off the money you’ve spent on the credit card, you’re instead paying off mostly interest.
If you need help paying off high-interest credit cards faster, I recommend reading this article.
6. Use a budget app
A budget app can make it easy to keep track of your spending and savings all from one app.
There are so many budget apps to choose from, but I recommend EveryDollar.
You can give a job to every dollar from your paycheck before you even get paid, which makes it much easier to save money.
7. Use a reminder app
A reminder app is a great idea for both the forgetful and non-forgetful.
It’s easy to forget a bill when you have so many, and a few mistakes can lead to a decrease in your credit score.
Most iPhones come with the reminder app built in, but if you don’t have one, all you have to do is look up alsoreminder in the search bar in the app store.
Set reminders to pay off specific bills each month. Even better, set up autopay so you never forget.
8. Pay off credit cards with a high utilization ratio
If your credit cards have a high utilization ratio, then you need to work on getting those paid off ASAP.
Credit cards that are close to the limit can greatly affect your credit score.
For example, if your credit card limit is $10,000 and you have $8,000 on the credit card, your utilization ratio is very poor. You want to focus on getting this down as it can be potentially hurting your credit score.
9. Ditch store cards
Store cards can be incredibly tempting because they tell you that you can get $50 off your first purchase if you open a credit card.
Not only that, you’ll get 20% off every time you use the credit card at the store.
This idea sounds alluring at first but can lead many people to overspend because they think they are saving when they’re actually just spending way more than they usually would.
This is the same mentality as going to a store because there’s a sale, even if you don’t need anything at the store.
You’re only just going because there’s a sale and the sale makes you feel like you’re saving money.
10. Pay yourself first
With the pay yourself first method, you’re simply writing down how much you are getting paid each month after taxes, and then you write a savings goal for specific areas of your life like retirement, vacations, insurance deductibles, or whichever you choose.
With the rest of your check, you put this toward bills, coffee, or whatever else you like spending your money on.
This approach works out better for people because they are putting money straight toward their savings first, rather than just putting money into their savings when they can or remember.
You can learn more about the pay yourself first method here.
Lexington Law has helped hundreds of thousands of clients remove inaccurate and unverifiable items from credit reports such as late payments, collections, charge-offs, and more.
If you need assistance with filing disputes or challenging specific items on your credit report, learn more about Lexington Law here and start getting the help you need today.
What do you plan on doing to increase your credit score over the holidays?
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