The end of the year is not only to get your resolutions together for the New Year, but it is the best time to take stock of your credit status.
First, find out just how your credit is faring, says financial wealth expert Carl Agard. Get your credit score from one of the major credit rating companies, such as Experian, TransUnion or Equifax. “You would like to get your credit score at the end of the year to know where you stand financially before you make any major moves at the start of the year like buying a house or car. A mistake on your credit report that may lower your score may cost you hundreds of dollars in paying higher interest rate fees,” says Agard.
Once you get your credit report, see which debts need to be paid down and begin a plan for the New Year. Set up your financial goals, including how much you want to reduce your debt and how much you want to save. “Every year you should set new financial goals because your situation changes every year. You may get a raise or cut in hours, which will impact your income. You may have an increase in debt and expenses due to rate changes in utilities. I recommend everyone to use a financial worksheet in which you can write down your income and expenses monthly,” explains Agard.
This is also a great time to take a look at your portfolio and plans to diversify your assets. But wait until the New Year to take action. “It’s best to wait until the New Year to diversify because at the end of the year annual reports come out and also new programs come out,” Agard points out.
Increase your credit in the beginning of the year by obtaining a new credit card. “The beginning of the year is a good time to get a new credit card because the rates are lower at this time and they also are targeting consumers that are about to get their tax returns,” says Agard.
Preparation is key for a healthier financial year.