Financial Advice

Understand Your Credit

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Five Behaviors for Finding Your Credit Zen

SpendIntentionally_web_feature_700x300 Bartosz and Kamila S |Members Since 2002

Much like our physical well-being depends on many factors (for example, nutrition, sleep, activity, and stress), our financial health is also complex and composed of many important parts. Understanding how to spend intentionally is one of them, particularly when it comes to improving credit.

Credit can be an excellent tool for helping you achieve financial health, but it requires insight and discipline. Many consumers have landed themselves into overwhelming debt that might have been avoided, had they been able to master the art of intentional spending. If you’d like to reap the rewards that come with credit cards, and there are many — low interest rates, cash back, travel perks, rewards, fraud protection — consider these five behaviors we’ve identified as milestones on the journey to Credit Card Zen.

  1. Borrow Wisely
    Remember when you pay with a credit card, you’re spending money, but you’re also borrowing it. Do your research, and take the time to find the right credit card for you. Choose a card that is well suited to your lifestyle and will reward you with perks that can make a difference to your long-term goals.

  2. Visit UFCU.org/Cards, call (800) 252-8311, or stop by any financial center to learn more. A representative can review your credit score, answer any questions, and help you find your path to credit card zen.
  3. Budget Your Spending
    That’s right. You need to mindfully budget your spending, especially when you’re spending on credit. Make a plan for what and how much you’ll spend on your card every month and how much you’ll pay off. Also be sure you know when you can cash in on rewards and when any annual fees are due.

  4. Balance Your Wants and Needs
    And bypass the guilt while you’re at it. Make sure your budget prioritizes your obligations but also includes some simple items for the sake of joyful living. If you’ve made a solid budget and are sticking to it, you should be able to enjoy a treat every now and again, while also making progress toward your goals.

  5. Build Your Credit
    Good credit opens doors to more opportunity and improved financial health. Done right, it can be well worth the effort. If you’re taking care of behaviors 1–3, this one should naturally follow. Our top tip for rebuilding credit? Pay your bills on time, every time.

  6. Breathe
    Have patience, and understand that financial health is a long-term, if not life-long, goal. Make choices you can make peace with today that will position you for success tomorrow.