Staying committed to becoming debt free hasn’t always been easy, but it’s helped you learn some good financial skills. Now is a good time to take stock in what you’ve learned and how to use it in your life moving forward.
Check Your Credit Report
You worked hard to resolve your debts, and those settled accounts should be shown on your credit report as resolved. Luckily, this is fairly easy to double check and the reports are free. Just go to AnnualCreditReport.com to request one from all three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. If you find errors, contact that credit bureau immediately to let them know. You are entitled to three free reports each year, so take advantage of it.
Pay Bills on Time
It’s obvious, but it’s also critical. Consistently making payments on time not only helps protect your credit health, it keeps you out of the trap of falling behind in your bills and never being able to catch up. We all know how that story ends! You stuck to your Deposit Account schedule, so you already have proven to yourself that you can do this.
Don’t Spend More Than You Can Afford
Easier said than done, right? I know. But all it really takes is creating a realistic monthly budget and then sticking to it. It will also help to use cash as much as you can – leave your debit card or credit cards at home, so if you don’t have enough money to buy something, you won’t buy it.
Get a Secured Credit Card
Another way to avoid spending more than you can afford is to get a secured credit card. It’s sort of like a reverse credit card: you give the bank some money up front, say $500 for example. Then, the bank gives you a credit card with $500 line of credit. You use the card until its balance is gone, and you won’t have any bill to pay later.
In the meantime, the best thing to do is stay committed to the FDR program so you can reach your goal and be debt free. Remember, if you ever have a question or problem, reach out to your Client Services team. They are on your side, ready to help!
Barbara Corcoran is a paid endorser of Freedom Debt Relief.