How To Protect Your Credit When Shopping Over The Holidays
Updated: May 22
We all get busy over the holidays. The end of December usually appears out of thin air, before we could even say Happy Holidays.
Hopefully, if you're reading this blog, you’ve put some hard work into bettering your financial situation. You’ve probably been able to raise your credit score some, and maybe even put some money away for emergencies.
You’ve made progress and the last thing you need is for a month of celebrations to throw your focus and set you back once again.
Here we are going to talk about how you can make sure you don’t take any steps backward this season, and how you can protect your credit score and financial well-being while still enjoying your holidays.
Get Secured with Your Credit
The first thing we need to discuss is security. During the holidays, you’re shopping more, pulling out your credit cards more, and you’re doing it all so fast that things could easily go unnoticed. It’s a great time of year for identity thieves and credit card fraudsters, sadly, and that means you have to be on the ball. You need to stay on top of your bills and be aware of what’s happening with your cards. If you notice anything suspicious at all, call your credit card company and clear it up, ASAP. Nothing is worse than finding out you’ve had your credit card stolen and maxed out just a few days before Christmas. Protect yourself; protect your credit score; protect the progress you’ve made this year by being aware of what is happening with your cards.
Do Not Overspend
Next, we have to discuss overspending. We are all guilty of this during the holidays, but running up your credit card balances is going to up your credit utilization ratio. Higher credit usage ratios mean a lower credit score. Make sure you can pay off most of what you spend on your card before you spend it, and if you can’t, then you need to lower the amount you’re spending.
Pay Bills on Time
Now, let’s talk about everyone’s favorite topic: paying bills! If you're busy enough to overlook identity theft, you can certainly forget to pay a bill or two as well. Make sure that even when you’re in the eye of the Christmas storm, you’ve got it under control. Use your smartphone to remind you when bills are due so you don’t have any late payments on your credit report going forward. Making sure you’re paying what you owe, on time is the best way to keep your credit score in check over the holidays.
Be Cautious on Increasing Debt
Finally, be cautious of increasing your overall debt. Don’t take on any new credit products, even though there will be temptations in nearly every store you visit to sign up for a new credit card or store card. The best way to avoid increasing your debt is to sign up for a secured card which uses your own money. A secured card allows you to make purchases on line or in store just like a regular credit card, and influences your credit score, without putting you into debt. Set limits for spending and try to save money wherever you can. Accumulating more debt is only going to make it harder for you to get out of debt, so be cautious and aware of what you’re spending.
Protecting your credit score this Christmas is all about being aware and making good choices. If you can do that, you’re going to be able to keep that score moving in an upward motion and your financial security healthy.
If you need some helping in fixing your credit report problems? CALL 718-674-1245 NOW or message here.