After a dizzying year like 2020, it’s nice to step into 2021 with a blank slate and fresh new financial goals. With a little expert help, you can make 2021 the year you finally take control of your credit score – or maintain it if it’s already in good shape. Keep in mind that only 3.5% of all Australians have a ‘perfect’ credit score – so aim to strive for progress, not perfection.
Here are three easy (but important!) tips to keep your credit looking good this year.
1. Get a reality check
First thing’s first! See where you’re starting from. Your current credit score will dictate how long it will take you to improve. It will also give you a sense of whether your credit needs minor tweaks or major improvements. You can easily make a credit profile on WisrCredit to check your scores without affecting your credit rating. Once you have access to your data, firstly make sure there are no errors. You can also look at the quality of your repayment history, amount of credit inquiries and if you have any unused credits that you can cancel.
2. Don't be late
One of the best credit behaviours you can practice is paying your bills on time. If you tend to forget, look to automation so you don’t even have to think about it. If this isn’t an option and you have difficulty remembering, it may be an idea to plan certain days of the month when you handle your payments. Set an alarm in your phone for the same day each month where you can set aside 15 minutes and get your payments in order. A routine like this can help lay the foundation for good personal finance and improve your chances of maintaining a good credit rating.
3. Make a plan for your debts
Getting out of debt starts a chain reaction of positive events for your credit score. If you have debt, you could consider the Debt Snowball or Debt Avalanche strategy which we outline in this blog post. A debt consolidation loan is another option for those of you with multiple debts to consider since it can help make your repayments more manageable and typically come with more reasonable interest rates.