SolveYourProblem eLearning Series: Credit Scores
Help Me Improve
My Dreadful Credit Score

( 26 pages )


Credit Score Tips

Tip #48: Prepare for financial emergencies.

Few of us think about what would happen if we lost our jobs or suddenly became too ill to work. The thought is simply too terrible to contemplate in many cases, especially if we are living paycheck to paycheck with a job as it is.

The fact is, though, that financial emergencies happen to almost everyone at some point and they can have devastating impact in your credit. In fact, most people who declare bankruptcy do so because of a huge financial disaster such as sudden unemployment, huge medical bills, a lawsuit, or divorce. Despite this, few people plan for these problems, even though they can happen to anyone.

If you want to keep your credit score in good order, you should know exactly what you would do in case of an emergency. Developing an actual written plan can help you by letting you take action to save your credit as soon as an emergency occurs. Some items that could be on your financial emergency plan could include:

1) A list of all assets you could liquidate if you had to.

2) A list of all extras or luxuries you could cut out of your life right away if there was a problem (i.e. newspaper subscriptions, cable television, water delivery service, Friday nights at the movies).

3) A list of any resources you have that could help you in case of an emergency. Maybe you know a lawyer who deals in financial facets of the law. Maybe you have insurance that could help you. Maybe your employer offers a severance package. Whatever it is, write it down. Keeping a list of these resources will make them easier to access in case of an emergency.

4) Other ways you could get money if you had to - jobs you could take, things you could rent out to others.

Tip #49: Get overdraft protection, insurance on your credit cards, or other services to keep your credit in good shape.

Talk to your bank and lenders about services they offer to keep you safe. Overdraft protection, for example, is a basic service that often costs nothing or very little extra but which protects you in case you withdraw too much money from your bank account.

With overdraft protection, you do not get a “ding” on your credit report or a charge for insufficient funds. In most cases, you get a day or two to add more money to the account to cover the gap. Some credit cards and other loans offer a similar service or offer insurance which protects you in case you lose your job and are unable to pay for a few months.

Tip #50: Get insurance.

Insurance for health, your car, your home, and for liability can help you avoid the huge legal and medical bills that can occur from an accident or sudden problem. For a small monthly fee, you are covered against unexpected events that can drain your finances and leave you with out-of control debt.

Tip #51: Get a prenuptial agreement and have a lawyer go over all your business contracts.

Most bankruptcies are caused by the fallout that occurs as a result of business failures, law suits, health costs, and divorces. Getting a prenuptial agreement helps to ensure that a divorce will not adversely affect your finances and lead to a ruined credit rating (keeping accounts separate while married is also a good idea, as your spouse’s own financial troubles can all too easily become your own). Having a lawyer look over contracts can at least reduce the risks of unfavorable agreements that can put you at a disadvantage in business.

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