Depressing is an understatement when the Dow experiences the biggest one week drop in history, both in points and percentage. While Wall Street is experiencing its own financial crisis, most of us are experiencing a personal financial crisis to at least some degree. Here are a few tips to keep your own credit in check.
1. Big Picture Mentality. First get your finances prioritized. List all of your debt obligations such as mortgage, credit cards, car loan, student loan, etc. Rank them in order of importance, when they’re due, and how much is owed.
2. The Most Important Bills First. Pay things that are an absolute necessity such as mortgage or rent, car payment, and so forth. While many may view their MasterCard bill at the bottom of the list, keep in mind it’s important to make at least the minimum payments, because the last thing you want is your credit to be negatively affected with a late payment.
3. Balance Transfer Offers. In theory, you should pay off your credit cards first if the interest is higher than your other loans. Unfortunately this may not be an option for the financially strapped. This is why it’s important to look into 0% balance transfer offers to at least keep interest low if you are unable to pay off the principle right now.
4. Cut Out Extras. Do you really need cable right now? Many websites such as CNN and ABC offer streaming video for free. Downgrading your cell phone plan and canceling your rarely used gym membership are other monthly expenses you save on.