There’s no time like the present to start thinking about your finances for the New Year. You don’t even have to come up with a New Years Resolution to get on the right track. Instead, you can just avoid doing some of the things that often end up damaging your finances. Check out our list of 5 things that you should not do in 2013.
- Apply for a bunch of offers: With the New Year comes lots of tempting credit card deals. Each time you apply for one of these juicy offers the card company checks your credit to determine your eligibility. Every time this is done it puts a ding on your credit and can lower your credit score. When you apply for multiple offers then there are multiple credit checks done and your score could suffer. This is not a good way to start off 2013.
- Max out your credit cards: Charging up your cards up to the limit doesn’t just get you in credit card debit, but does something even worse, it lowers your credit score. Your credit score is the most important piece of your financial stability. Without a good, solid credit score life becomes much harder. You can’t get approved for a loan or you are paying a much higher rate.
- Be a co-signer: Being a co-signer is risky. Everything that happens on the card account is linked directly to you. That’s right, if there’s a late payment it belongs to you. When you are a co-signer (or even authorized user) everything that gets reported to the credit bureau is under your name too. This could wreck havoc on your credit score even if you aren’t the one using the card.
- Fall for the juicy offers: It always boosted my self esteem a little when I received an amazing card offer in the mail and it said I was pre-approved. What I quickly realized was I still had to apply for the offer and actually be approved. That sweet deal I thought I already had in my pocket was really reserved for those with the best of credit scores. You might be eligible for the card, but there’s no guarantee it’s the version with the great bonus offer and low rate.
- Skip the fine print: Let’s face it, nobody really wants to read the fine print, especially for a credit card. It’s long, boring, and half the time you don’t understand what you’ve read. The problem is when you don’t read this information you don’t really know what you’re getting into. This is the place where all the “real” details of the offer are kept. This is where the truth comes out. The flashy, to good to be offer is revealed in the fine print so read it!
Photo Credit: marc falardeau via flickr