11 Steps to a Safe and Happy Financial Future

Step #1: It is better to have some good credit rather than all bad credit. When times are worst, try to keep one or two of your accounts current. The foundation for rebuilding your credit can hinge on those one or two good accounts.

Step #2: Stability is good. Try to avoid moving around too much.

Step #3: A co-signer may help you in re-establishing your credit.

Step #4: If you need a vehicle, avoid the “buy here, pay here” places. Their interest rates on used cars will help you back into financial problems.

Step #5: When making large purchases, such as a car, lenders will try to tack on credit insurance onto the purchase. Avoid doing this as it only adds cost and does not benefit you.

Step #6: Whenever you are considering major purchases, like cars or homes, don’t forget to look at the other associated costs that come with those purchases. For example, the purchase of a home may increase your monthly utility costs, insurance costs, and repair costs. Make sure to factor these costs into your monthly budget.

Step #7: If you are ready to buy that house, prepare a household budget looking at both the income that you are bringing into the household as well as your monthly expenses. Don’t use the overtime that you get as a normal occurrence as this could derail your plans when that overtime goes away.

Step #8: Save, save, save and save some more. Put money away for that down payment on a car or house. It will go a long way to helping keep your monthly costs low. It is recommended to have three to six months worth of living expenses money saved.

Step #9: Try to avoid credit cards: although they may be good for those emergency situations, they can also get you back into the credit problems you just cured.

Step #10: It is always a good idea to check your credit report twice a year. Review the reports to gauge how you have been doing over the previous six months.

Step #11: Make sure that what you are seeking is a need and not a want. If you have a computer, use it to do your research before venturing out to go face to face with those high pressure sales people. Finally, never make a major purchase your first day out, take your time.