3 Credit Tips During Uncertain Times
The current nationwide environment is full of unknowns and undoubtedly has had an impact on many people’s lives and finances. Now more than ever, it is important for people to take some extra time to monitor and protect their credit.
What are some things you can do during this time to keep you credit in check?
Review your credit score and credit report.
Your credit score is probably the most important number tied to your name and has a huge impact on your financial life. Closely monitor the information in your credit report to ensure all of the information in your file is accurate, and immediately dispute any inaccuracies you find with the credit bureaus before they could damage your score. Review your credit report by visiting annualcreditreport.com and request a free copy of your credit report. This can be done every 12 months from each of the three credit bureaus…TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. If you stagger your review, you can look at your credit report every 4 months.
Monitor your credit even more frequently with the use of free credit monitoring tools such as Credit Karma. These tools help explain your current credit score, suggest ways to improve your score and alert you when about unexpected changes that could lead to fraud. In today’s tech-savvy world, these alerts are practically real-time, giving you the ability to stop fraudsters in their tracks.
Don’t become a victim of fraud.
Please be aware of scammers looking to take advantage of the current situation. Watch out for spam phone calls and emails regarding stimulus checks or other pandemic related topics. The government will never ask you for personal information such as your Social Security number or account number over the phone or in an email. Please be diligent in refusing to divulge personal information to protect yourself from fraudulent activity.
If you noticed suspicious activity on your accounts or credit report, make sure to contact your financial as well as dispute any fraudulent activity to the credit bureaus before it could negatively affect your credit score. Growing unemployment and financial strain will increase fraudulent activity and could increase your chances of being hacked or scammed, so stay vigilant.
Monitor your rates to find better savings.
With rates at historic lows, now is a great time to review your interest rates on loans and credit cards. There are many options available to lower the interest you are paying, such as refinancing your vehicle loan for a lower rate or consolidating high interest debt into a low interest personal loan. Not only will you save money long-term by paying less on interest, you may also lower your monthly payment… allowing you to either use those funds for other necessities or allow you to establish an emergency savings fund.
Kohler Credit Union offers some amazing low rates on vehicle and personal loans and have a quick and easy application process that can be done completely online. Click here to learn more.