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Financial Library

Using Credit Wisely

Establish & maintain good credit

Learning how to establish good credit is something they never taught in school. Late payments can leave negative marks on your credit report, which will cause future lenders to either charge very high rates for credit or offer no credit at all.

Tips to help establish good credit and gain financial independence:

  • Pay all bills on time, even utility bills- Establishing good credit requires establishing good habits. Make sure to pay all bills, including rent & utilities before you splurge on non-necessary items such as entertainment, eating out, and shopping sprees. Utility companies may report you to the credit bureaus if you are late on your payments.
  • Establish a credit history- To establish good credit history you need to have a credit card or a loan through a financial institution. A good place to start is applying for a low limit credit card or signature loan. Once you have the loan, it is important to make monthly payments on or before the due date. By paying on time each month, you are showing creditors that you can manage credit and will be a candidate for credit in the future.
  • Refrain from applying for credit at multiple places if you have been turned down- When you apply for credit at multiple places in a short period of time, this can negatively reflect your credit. Talk to an 1st Financial personal banker to find the best options for you.

Saving Money is Easier than You Think- Saving money doesn’t have to be on your wish list. Even saving small amounts of money is better than saving nothing at all.

Tips to help make saving money easy:

  • Sign Up for Allotments- If you have your paycheck direct deposited into a checking account regularly, then sign up for 1st Financial allotments. Allotments will automatically transfer a specific amount of money ($5, $10, $20, $50, etc) on a weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly basis. Save just $10 a week and you’ll have $520 in a year.
  • Open Secondary Savings Account- One key to saving money is resisting the urge to “dip” into your account. Unless it is an emergency, the account you use for savings should be hard to access. This means don’t get an ATM card for that particular account. By limiting access to the account, you can avoid impulse spending.

For more information on how 1st Financial can help you gain financial independence, talk to a personal banker today.


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