If you're clueless about credit, you've probably made a few credit mistakes. Maybe you didn't pay bills on time, or maybe you accumulated massive credit card debt. As a result, you might suffer from a damaged credit score. Nobody is born knowing how to manage his or her credit. So we have to educate ourselves. If you're clueless about credit, here are seven tips to boost your knowledge and make smarter decisions.
1. Take a Financial Literacy Course
You don't have to major in economics to learn personal finance. After a quick online search, I found that many lifestyle centers, community colleges and churches offer financial literacy courses that can be completed in a few days or over a couple of weeks. These courses teach basic credit and money management, such as how to budget, the importance of saving and how to build a strong credit score.
2. Read Personal Finance Blogs
You might be surprised with what you can learn on your own. The Internet is full of personal finance sites written by experts who can offer excellent advice on a variety of money related topics. Follow these blogs to build your credit knowledge and learn the best ways to manage your money.
3. Watch Money-related News Content
Just about every major news program periodically has segments related to personal finance. Whether you're looking to pay off debt, build your savings account or plan for retirement, listening to these experts can increase your knowledge and point you in the right direction. The more you know, the easier it will be to make decisions that'll improve your credit and financial health.
4. Get a Financial Planner
Sometimes, you need assistance. A personal financial planner or advisor is a good place to start. These professionals are highly familiar in all areas related to money including personal finance. They can help you choose life insurance, create a debt elimination strategy, and provide support to help you build a stronger financial foundation.
5. Use Credit Counseling
A non-profit credit counseling agency can be of assistance if you need help managing your credit and you need to learn credit management. You'll work with a counselor who provides education and support. Credit counseling agencies offer a variety of services. Contact an agency today to learn different options available to you.
6. Speak with Your Parents
If your parents know money and they've always made solid financial decisions, ask them for advice. Some parents drop the ball and don't educate their children about credit and finance at a young age. But it's never too late to learn about money, and if your parents are good money managers, they might be the best people to offer advice and tips.
7. Ask a Friend
Then again, maybe you don't want to drag your parents into your personal financial business. That's understandable, especially if you want to be independent. Do you have a friend who's good with personal finance? If so, this person might be able to offer solid advice and guide you as you work to improve your credit.
Building a good credit score isn't rocket science and anyone can improve his or her rating. But you need to educate yourself and adjust many of your credit habits to achieve an excellent score. What are other ways to boost your credit knowledge?