Many people in the United States today have bad credit, and the numbers have continued to rise. It isn’t just those who are lazy who end up with bad credit. Many hard working people who are well meaning end up in situations where their credit is ruined. The best way to avoid this is to look at the different warning signs that can indicate that you’re headed towards a situation where your credit can be destroyed.
- If you don’t have medical insurance, this is one sign that you’re headed towards financial trouble. Statistics show that a large percentage of people who end up with bad credit are those who have outstanding medical bills. As the cost of health care continues to increase, getting sick or hurt could put you in debt that is difficult to get out of. If you don’t have health insurance, it may be time for you to get it. If you are maxing out your credit cards, this is another sign you are headed towards bad credit.
- Credit cards are a key factor that causes many people to end up with bad credit. Their high interest rates combined with late payment fees and universal default can make them a nightmare for people who don’t use them properly. It is best to keep your credit card balance as low as possible. Only use your credit card when you absolutely need it. Always pay your bill on time and avoid maxing out your card at all costs. Many people also make the mistake of using the equity in their homes too much to pay for expenses.
- While using the equity in your home can be a good idea for those who want to remodel their kitchen or bathroom, they should be used cautiously. Before you use the equity in your home, make sure you will be able to make the monthly payments with ease. You want to avoid situations where you could default on your payments. Living paycheck to paycheck or not having adequate savings is another sign that you could end up with bad credit. It has been shown that about 40% of American families have less than $1000 saved up.
This is alarming for a number of reasons. First, if you get into an emergency, you will have little money to protect you. This will leave you open to using a credit card or payday loan, something you want to avoid. This will get you into a cycle of debt that is difficult to escape from. The chances that you will get behind on your payments and ruin your credit are dramatically increased.
Because of this, it is important to start saving money if you’re living paycheck to paycheck. Get rid of bills that you don’t need. Saving money is an important part of building wealth, and if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you’re not getting ahead financially, even if you make a large income. If you are only paying the minimum balance on your credit cards, it will be difficult to pay them off. It may take as long as 30 years to pay off your cards, and you could end up with bad credit if you stop making your payments.
- Another thing that can lead to bad credit is co-signing on a loan for someone else. Even if you have good credit, the person that you’re co-signing with may not. If they decide to stop making payments on the loan, you will be held responsible because you signed for the loan as well. It is best to avoid co-signing for a loan at all times. If your home or car has been foreclosed or repossessed, this is a factor that can also cause your credit to be ruined.