11/22/2013 3:45 PM ET|
Use technology to build your credit
Common sense dictates that you need to keep a close eye on your finances, but often life gets in the way. Technology can help.
Is life getting busier? It seems to be. Parents with school-aged children seem to be busier than I was when my daughter was young (she’s just starting college this month!), and I think I was busier than my parents were when I was a child.
I’m not here to tell you that things should slow down. I recognize that life is busy and that our schedule is not always under our control. However, as someone who spends a lot of time helping people with their credit, I can tell you that this busyness could have a negative impact on your credit score.
You may have the very best intentions to pay your bills in full and on time, and keep your credit card debt to a credit-score-optimized level, and check your credit every three to six months, but busyness can keep you from remembering to do those things.
Fortunately, automation can help. Here are some ways that my clients are using automation to help them. I recommend using as many of the following things as necessary to help you build credit through the busyness of your life.
Set up automatic bill payments to come directly out of your bank account. Although you might not want to do this for bills that could have unexpectedly large amounts (such as your credit card bills), this is a good idea for more predictable bills (such as your mortgage and utility bills). As long as the money is in your account, your bills get paid on time and in full, and your credit score can really benefit from it! I consider this an essential credit tip for people whose jobs require them to travel a lot.
Set up reminders in your calendar a week or two before payment due dates of bills that aren’t paid automatically. When the reminder alarm rings, it’s time to make that payment. I really like this idea for credit card bills, which you might not want to come out of your bank account automatically, but which absolutely need to be paid on time!
Set up a reminder to yourself to pull your credit reports every three to six months. It’s easy to delay pulling your report until later but if you pull your credit reports when your alarm reminder tells you to do so, then you’ll find it easier to stay on top of your credit.
Check your credit score regularly to monitor your credit-building progress. It’s also a good way to look for signs of fraud or other problems with your credit.
Schedule 30 to 60 minutes a week to look over your credit reports and work toward your credit-building goals. You might need longer if you’ve never done this before, but before long you’ll reduce the amount of time you need to spend.
Bookmark credit resources on your mobile device or tablet so you can stay educated (rather than only reading up on credit when you think of it).
I’ve only scratched the surface. In the comments below, add your ideas and tips for using automation and technology to help you manage your credit.
More from Credit.com:
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
"computer gods", the USPO, or the posting policies of the creditor will eventually mark everyone with a late payment, regardless of what it is. And even then, the amount of the late
payment is not known to the reporting agencies. One can pay off a $100,000.00 mortgage, and have a $5.85 late fee, due to interest calculations per day, and that amount will show up on a credit
report as 30 days late. The entire credit score system is skewed to the benefit of small time thieves, who want an excuse to charge more for insurance, auto loans, credit card fees, etc.
Any loan which is of any significance with a bank will be based upon income, assets, and liabilities, which these credit card scoring companies have no information about, nor do they care to.
I know a multimillionaire couple who have a credit score of 710. When they investigated this, they were told that the reason was they have too many open accounts.
So move forward in life. Pay bills to the best of ones ability, but don't change where you want to go in life because of a credit score. Only you know the truth of what is affordable.
Every time I buy something on credit, I put a post-it in front of my face, right above my laptop on the wall. Then, once I get the bill, I pin that in front of me. That way, it is always right in front of me. That has been the best reminder for me, anyway!
I also use bill-pay, when it comes right out of my account, I never have to sweat the small stuff!
Good credit, everyone!!!!!
how about cash, have done this for years, does not show on our credit , any ideas
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.