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From Multiple to Maxed 

Its okay to have more than one or two credit cards but there are certain stipulations to making them work to your benefit. 
If you've had trouble with debt before because you've lacked some level of spending discipline then hold off on trying this a bit until that is addressed. If you're ok in the disciple department or you keep an ultra low balance on your one credit card then know it will not hurt your credit if you have another. Once you have it your biggest job is to make sure you do not ever keep a high balance on either one. 

It shows you can manage a large sum available to you without going crazy. If this happens and you keep everything else with your money in order, you should see some improvements in your credit score.

Keep Your Oldest Credit Cards Open 

The older your credit accounts the better so keep your oldest credit card open. If you've just paid it off or are about to, don't close it. Put it away and let it now help you raise your credit score by maintaining a low balance that you pay off every month.

High Interest vs. Lowest Balance 

There are 2 popular methods to paying down debt. Choose one of your debts and pay more on that one, starting with the one with the highest interest OR the one with the largest amount. 

The highest interest may seem to take longer but will result in you dishing out less overall in interest payments. 

Decide on a method today if you haven't already and crush it!

Can You Buy It Twice? 

Tax Season is coming around and after the deductions from your business and the money back from your job withholdings, you might be getting a nice little stack of change. Something to remember...

When you're buying things, especially big ticket items like a car, take all of its financial requirements into consideration. Research and factor everything you can before you sign on the line. You should always have more money at your disposal than what the initial investment says it is. 

A car is a really great example since you'll remember to think about the monthly payment, gas and down payment but might let the insurance, oil changes and other maintenance slip past you. Go back and give those items some thought. They vary depending on the vehicle, age, prior driving history and even your credit.

We're Not Paying Annual Fees 

Credit cards should not be things you pay for regularly. The goal is not to use them for emergency measures but in lieu of the money you already have. Paying interest or an annual fee when you are trying to get out of debt or create a sizeable savings is a no.

Use Credit to Make Money 

Its Thursday and February is gone so chances are you are ready to spend, if even from your computer.

Make your credit create a bit of money for you as you spend. If you were going to spend a certain amount of cash, spend that same amount on your rewards or cash back credit card. 

Also be sure to check if your debit card has any cash back offers for the stores you need to purchase from. Get a little bit of what you're spending back! 

Get the free eBook for more super easy savings tips!

Don't Crack Open the Bulk of Your Savings to Pay Debt 

You will probably reach a point in your savings and debt elimination goals where you will have a hefty amount of money tucked away in your savings. It gives you confidence just thinking about it. 
Then you look at your loan or credit card or other debt balance and the feeling starts to dissipate. The next thing you know, you're contemplating dumping your entire savings into that debt balance so you can either get rid of it all or a chunk and pay less interest over the long haul. 

I'll say this now, what happens if the next day your car breaks down or you need to fly across the country to see a dying relative or disaster strikes and you need to move? Anything can happen and if you dig into your savings to pay off debt, you'll position yourself to easily get right back in the whole you've been digging yourself out of. 

Keep your savings for what its for. You can always pay extra to your debtors when you have extra.

Do You Need A Co-Signer? 

If you need a co-signer that's a sign that you need to do 1 of 3 things: 

1. Don't get it. 
2. Wait a bit longer to get it. 
3. Find another way to get it. 

Being told you need a co-signer can be good since it will stop you - even momentarily to look at your current financial situation and evaluate what you can really afford and where you can best put your dollars to use. 
Once in a while, if it is an item that you have already calculated for and you know you can realistically handle it but you may not have the greatest or longest history you may just need to go in for the ask. Ask for that better rate, as for another lender, and if you don't get a "good deal" be comfortable with walking away.

There are even ways to obtain a house without a hard credit inquiry. 


Pay More Than Once Per Month 

So you've got some debt, a credit card, an annoying student loan that doesnt want to budge. 

Yes you have a minimum to amount to pay towards you credit accounts once per billing cycle but consider paying a bit more. Better yet, pay the minimum early and then by the due date, add in your additional payment to be applied to the principle balance.

Minimize Hard Credit Inquiries 

Credit card offers keep popping up in your mail box and your bank is sending you emails with card offers while you have classes to get ready for and you are tired of the bus and train. Don’t break drastically from your regular financial set up because things are getting to you. The last thing you want to do is open a bunch of new lines of credit in a short period of time. Do not fall for the trap of “building your credit” by buying a new car and opening that credit card you were offered with the 30,000 point bonus if you don’t actually have the money for any of it! 

Imagine how hard and long it will be if you don’t have the money for these things now. That’s what financial institutions analyze when they pull your credit report and you will see it quickly with your credit score. The more hard inquiries you have (credit card applications, personal loan apps, etc.) the more of a risk you will seem when you do apply for something that you need and want. Step yourself up in a good way and build your credit organically as you need it. And aim to live below your means as you do it. 

Start out with a secured credit card. Your limit will be contingent on the amount of money you deposited available. Then after 6 or more months you can apply for one other new line of credit, either your standard credit card, small personal loan or line of credit, or that car loan. But the key is to take your time and pay in full at least the day before your due date and you will see a healthy credit report being to take form.