Average credit card debt per U.S. adult, excluding zero-balance cards and store cards: $4,878, according to a May 2013 Transunion report. With that statistic in mind, I wanted to share some of the very best advice I have learned from financial advisers and debt and credit experts over the past few years.
Keep Your Debt Low and Pay Bills – Pay the Minimum in Hard Times
- The most important tip is to pay bills on time – this will have the most effect on your credit score. If you are undergoing a difficult financial period, try to pay the minimum so you can keep your credit score afloat.
- Keep your credit card balances low and maintain the minimum number of cards necessary. Even during hard times, remember, a high credit debt will adversely affect your credit score.
- Only apply for credit cards and loans when absolutely necessary.
- Every person is entitled to a free credit report once a year. This is important – as it details out all of your information and transactions. If there are errors – you can report those.
- If you find errors in your credit report, you can write to the credit agency and have them investigate. If you have proof, you should send along with your correspondence.
- Equifax at http://www.credit.equifax.com
- Experian at http://www.experian.com
- Trans Union at http://www.transunion.com