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My Top 5 New Year’s Credit Goals

A new year feels like a new beginning, and the tradition of making resolutions solidifies that notion. Most have ideas of how they’d like to change their health, their job and their relationships, but often times personal finances spend January on the bench.

Add these wallet-savvy resolutions to stress less in 2014!

Examine Your Credit Report
Think of your credit report like the scale. Sometimes that number staring back at you is really what you need to get motivated and change bad habits. No matter what, you should resolve to check your credit every year, including reading over the full document — you may catch an error! If you do, your score might increase, which will help you get any loans or credit cards you may need throughout the year.

Pay Back Your Credit Debt
The average American household owes over $15,000 in debt, and that’s in addition to mortgage and student loans. You don’t have to pay off all of it in one year to make an impact on your credit score — for some it may not be possible — so take small steps that add up to big changes. Some micro-resolutions to consider:
• Make a budget that you can stick to. Once you know how much you need, you can calculate how much you can pay off each month.
• Create a “get out of debt” plan by February. Make sure to prioritize your creditors, so you pay off the high-interest accounts first.
• Eliminate unnecessary expenses. This may seem daunting, but little things, like bringing in coffee from home instead of buying a latte each morning, can create significant savings.

Make An Alert To Pay Bills On Time
Have you ever forgotten to pay a bill, only to remember when you’re issued a late fee? The penalty charge isn’t the only thing that companies can hit you with — do it enough times, and your credit score will be affected. Make sure you pay on time, every time, by creating reminders you won’t ignore. Whether that means writing due dates on your calendar, or setting alerts on your phone, paying your bills on time is essential to maintaining your financial health!

Adopt these three resolutions to control your financial stress, and make 2014 the year of swollen saving accounts! Do you have any money resolutions we didn’t cover?

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Jeanne Kelly, Credit Coach