Credit 9 and Americor Funding have been flooding the market with debt consolidation and personal loan offers. They are offering consumers a way to change their poor money habits. Is it working?
To prevent these perils, refrain from indulging in any of the following money habits.
- Paying Automatic Bills
If you can setup automatic bill payments, it saves you from late payment surcharge. However, at times, you don’t have any idea about how much money you have in your account. As a result, you face overdraft charges or penalties in response to returned payments.
Experts believe that setting up an automatic payment schedule is a bad idea. By relying on such a schedule, you often fail to check if you have any money left in your account to pay the bills.
Rather than configuring automatic payments, one of the wiser money habits is to set up alerts through which you can pay these bills on time.
- Failing to Create an Emergency Fund
Unforeseen expenses are always around the corner. You may lose your job in a sudden turn of events or your car might break down unexpectedly during a trip. Without an emergency fund, you have nowhere to go. It offers you much-needed assistance when the going gets tough.
If you and your partner both work jobs, try to save enough money in your account so that you can so that you can survive for three months without a job. Save for six months if you are the sole earner in your home. Even if you find it hard to save, try to accumulate enough money to pay for groceries or repairs.
- Struggling with Budgeting
Failing to make a budget is one of those money habits that can lead you into a financial crisis. Budgeting allows you to pay off a debt or reduce it to a significant extent. In this way, you can save money for emergency. Other than keeping you safe in times of need, budgeting provides you with an effective roadmap that allows you to address your financial objectives. By setting a spending target and sticking to it, you can budget better.
- Deciding Against a Retirement Strategy
Surviving without funds in old age can be harder than you imagine. Young people often decide against retirement savings because they believe that it is too “far away.” However, what they don’t realize is that this extended period can generate them excellent compound interest on their retirement plans.
Some people incorrectly assume that they will not need a lot of money in their retirement. This is an incorrect assessment because the cost of living always rises with time. Moreover, retirement is a phase during which people will want to pursue their passion and hobbies like traveling. Hence, they are going to need money. To save up for your retirement, you can either go for a 401(k) plan or open an individual account.
- Not Getting Insurance
What will you do if an untimely disaster damages your personal possessions like car or residential property?
Insurance is something where you need to strike a balance and ensure that you are neither investing too much nor spending too little. Ideally, you should cover your primary assets, especially your health. In this way, you can stop a natural disaster form taking the form of a personal financial disaster. Apart from health, get insurance for your vehicle and property where the coverage is enough to pay for catastrophic care in the event of illness or accident.
- Using Home Equity as an ATM
Many people believe that this practice is among the smartest money habits, but it is not! A HELOC (home equity line of credit) allows user to purchase anything at low interest rates. When you miss out on a credit card payment, it merely affects your credit history and rating. Doing the same with HELOC can put your ownership of the house at risk.
- Overlooking Your Credit Report
Even if you ignore your credit report, a lot of other parties will like to have a look at it. Traditionally, these reports were merely used as part of the eligibility criteria for new loans and credit cards. Today, they are used in non-credit scenarios like bank accounts, insurance policies, bank accounts, and job applications. As a rule of thumb, check the following information in your credit report:
- Does it have your correct information like name, address, limits, and balances?
- Is there any account that does not belong to you? This can be a sign of identity theft.
- How are you running up balances?
- Have mistakes like bankruptcies, collections, charge-offs, and late payments been removed?
- Paying Late
Even if you do not struggle from any money issues, but end up paying late bills, your credit score can plummet. As a result, your creditors can increase your rates or end your credit line whereas the ones in the future may charge higher rates or reject you. Moreover, late payments can make you pay for additional charges. Since, this is one of those money habits that is easy to get rid of, start paying on time from this moment on.
- Co-signing Loans
Co-signing a loan can land you in mess. Often, the other person ignores it, which means the burden falls on your shoulders. With late or missed payments, your credit score can take a hit and as soon as it drops down, creditors are certainly going to be ruthless. They will increase interest rates and cut credit lines.
In the best-case scenario, if your co-signer is punctual with all the payments, the card limit or loan balance is still going to be the part of your existing obligations whenever you go for a new loan.
- Spending More Than You Can Afford
Spending more than you earn is common, yet it is one of the worst money habits. You can avoid this situation by paying with cash or a debit card – one that does not offers overdraft protection with your account.
By making sure that you don’t commit to any of the money habits mentioned above, you will become a lot more efficient with your savings and manage your debts better.