keep your credit resolutions in 2016

3 proven, easy-to-keep credit resolutions

Share This Page

As memories of new-year celebrations fade and the daily grind fully sets in, now is typically the time new-year’s resolve weakens — motivational magic may be minimal and small compromises seem convenient. But when it comes to healthier credit, it’s easy to start these 3 resolutions now and sustain them all year long.

 

1st Resolution: “I will pay my credit card bills on time (and never more than 30 days late).”

How sticking with it may be easier than you think


You probably already know late payments can hurt your credit health. And while carrying a credit card balance comes with its own financial risks, it’s important to know most revolving accounts will only report a late payment to a credit bureau if you fail to make the minimum payment more than 30 days from the due date.

So, if you’re able to pay your bills in full every month, by all means keep doing so. But if you’re in a jam and can’t pay the full amount by the due date, just make sure to pay as much as you can and, at the least, the minimum.

If you forget a payment, it’s not the end of the world. Just make it right away and, going forward, be sure you have follow-up reminders in place so you remember to pay before 30 days past-due.


2nd Resolution: “If I’m having trouble paying my installment loans, I will contact the lender and try to work something out.”

How sticking with it may be easier than you think


Installment loans include mortgages, student debt, personal loans — any type of credit where you get money up-front and pay it back on a set schedule (usually monthly). Many people don’t know that a simple call can help you get some relief if you’re having trouble with installment-loan payments.

If you’re having trouble, or think you may soon have trouble, don’t be ashamed or think telling the lender will make it worse. Generally, they’ll want to work with you to help you pay the loan back, especially if they think helping will allow you to get back into a regular payment schedule relatively quickly.

For student loans specifically, you may be able to apply for a deferment or forbearance. At a minimum, these programs let you stop making payments for a certain period of time without hurting your credit standing. Be sure to check with your lender for details, though, because some programs may continue charging interest while you’re not paying. If that’s the case, you may end up with higher monthly payments and/or longer repayment periods when you start paying again.

Bottom line, make sure that whatever you apply for or agree upon, you get confirmation of it in writing.


3rd Resolution: “I will stay in the know about my credit.”

How sticking with it may be easier than you think

If you’re familiar with credit reports and scores, you probably know that they can change at a moment’s notice, for better or worse. Sometimes, you'll know what you did to cause those changes, but sometimes — like if negative information's inaccurately reported to a bureau or if an identity thief were to get ahold of your credit without your knowing — you may not.

Fortunately, TransUnion Credit Monitoring makes it easy to stay in the know about your credit with:

  • 3-Bureau Monitoring & Alerts — We email you whenever there’s a critical change to your TransUnion, Experian or Equifax credit report.
  • Instant Alerts — Whenever your TransUnion credit report is requested by a creditor, we immediately send you an email, text or smartphone app notification.
  • Score Trending — See how your TransUnion credit score has changed with this new, easy-to-read, interactive graph.

 

Take the next step toward financial health
SEE YOURS NOW

Advertiser Disclosure: TransUnion Interactive may have a financial relationship with one or more of the institutions whose advertisements are being displayed on this site. In the event you enter into a product or service relationship with any such institution through the links provided on the site, TransUnion Interactive may be compensated by such institution. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site including, for example, the order in which they appear. TransUnion Interactive does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers.