While it’s possible to navigate the world without good credit, it’s both inconvenient and costly. Poor credit can prevent the purchase of a home, car, or the ability to get a credit card. Even if those things could still be accomplished, it’s far more expensive when your credit is poor. Poor credit can even limit your employment opportunities.
Poor credit can either be self-induced or due to identity theft. Electronic storage of personal information has potentially made it easier for criminals to access personal information.
Use these strategies to protect your credit and financial future:
- Review your credits reports annually. At least once a year, look over your credit reports and deal with any errors. Twice a year would be even better.
- Ensure your online accounts are secure. Use sophisticated passwords and only log on to your personal accounts in a secure location. Public internet access points are not secure.
- Secure your smart phone, tablet, laptop, and other devices. The auto-lock function is annoying to deal with, but provides a good layer of protection. Keep your anti-virus software up to date.
- Use a paper shredder. Picking through the trash is perhaps the most common method of gathering information. Shred documents that contain personal information.
- Be careful shopping online. Stick to websites you know are reputable and ensure the website uses the necessary encryption measures to protect your information. If the website address begins with ‘https’ and has a padlock symbol, you should be okay.
- Be smart. Only provide personal or financial information to those you have to.
Take action to protect your credit and financial future. The ramifications for having a low credit score can be serious.