The greatest gift you can give yourself this season is a pat on the back knowing you made it through the holidays without ruining your credit. Contrary to popular belief, the holidays are not an excuse to max out your credit cards. ‘Tis the season, yeah we know and you deserve nice things! But you don’t have to ruin your credit in order to get everything you want this year. Follow Luxurious Credit tips below and your credit score may even go up a few points by the start of the new year!
1. Set A Cash Only Rule. Instead of pulling out your credit card to pay for big purchases this season, try to stick to a cash only budget. Sounds impossible, but it can be done. You can still manage to get everything on your list, you just have to shop a little smarter. Keep reading to find out how to save this season while others are splurging.
2. Shop For Deals. It takes some effort but you’ll be amazed at how much you can save if you shop for bargains instead of splurging. Look for coupons in your Sunday paper. Check the promotion folder in your email. Shop the outlet mall for gifts. Wait for that after Christmas day sale if you can, it’s so worth it. This way even if you have to pull out your credit card you should be able to keep your balances low by not over spending. Try to always keep your balances below 20% even throughout the holiday season.
3. Just Say No To In Store Credit Card Offers. “Would you like to save an extra 20% today by opening an account with us?” Just say no. While the discount may be tempting, the high interest rates just aren’t worth it. And besides, most stores will only grant you a discount if you are approved. If you’re denied you just added a new inquiry to your credit report which may hurt your score. Don’t fall for the trap. Want to save 20%? Come prepared with your own coupons in hand as I suggested earlier.
4. Suggest Doing A Family Gift Exchange. Instead of buying gifts for everyone in your family this year pick one family member to exchange a gift with. This way you aren’t pressured to get a gift for every brother, sister, niece, nephew, cousin and in-law. Swap gifts with your favorite cousin and her kids and have her do the same for you and your kids. That way everyone is happy, no one is left out, and you don’t go broke trying to get everyone a gift.
5. Ask For What You Really Want. Did someone with really good credit just ask you what you want for Christmas? Ask them for a piggyback ride! You might catch them off guard as most people aren’t expecting that response but it doesn’t hurt to ask to be added as an authorized user on to one of their credit card accounts. If your mom, dad, significant other, or super responsible big brother or sister with a good credit score asks what do you want them to buy you for Christmas, simply tell them about your credit goals and how you can really use a boost to your credit score this season.
6. Continue to pay your bills on time. As I mentioned earlier, the holidays are not an excuse to be irresponsible with your credit. Especially if you worked so hard all year to build it. Do not neglect your bills this season by thinking, “One late payment is not going hurt”. Yes it will! One late payment on your credit report can damage your credit so severely it can take years to repair. Continue to pay those bills on time, you’ll thank yourself later!
7. Ask For Forgiveness. If you came across this article a little too late and you’ve already maxed out your credit cards… or you think you’re going to be late making a payment this month, there is one last thing you can try. Beg for forgiveness. Yeah you screwed up so now you have to swallow your pride. Time to get on the phone and call your credit card company, the car loan financer, rent-a-center, whoever it is that you know you won’t be able to pay and ask for an extension or a courtesy late payment forgiveness. This should be your very last resort, don’t depend on it, because they may just say no! But if you are granted more time to pay your bill or some kind of one time late payment forgiveness on your account then hopefully your scores won’t take a hit January and you’ll be back on track for next month.
Good luck and happy holidays!
Written by Arnita Johnson