SENIORS REVIEW CREDIT ISSUES

Mar 29th, 2013 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Finances

Seniors’ Credit Report

Several Internet articles recently dealt with the need for seniors to think about one’s credit report/rating. Some of the suggestions apply more specifically to seniors. Many of us are not worried about our credit report. It’s been in place a long time and our ratings probably haven’t changed much. With a long history of credit transactions, the rating has likely been very consistent for a long time.

So what’s to think about with regard to my credit report? Here are some ideas that may apply to you:

  • Don’t cut up and discard credit cards that you are not using much. Your credit history is tied to all your open accounts, and closing one or more can hurt your credit.
  • Stick with Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Diners for your purchases. If you don’t pay off your account(s) every month, department/gas/grocery credit cards have much higher interest rates, and they end up costing you money you don’t need to be spending.
  • If you co-sign loans with your adult children/grandchildren, be sure to have an agreement with them that if they are unable to make a payment on time, let you know so you can make the payment for them. Any missed/late payments will reflect negatively on your credit report. And include in the agreement that they repay you for any payment you make on their behalf.
  • Do not share your credit card. Period.
  • If you already have a major card (Mastercard, Visa, AMEX or Diners), you do not need any more cards. Ignore the offers that come in the mail.
  • Check your credit report at least once a year. There is a website that the federal government requires for people to be able to access their credit reports at no cost. Click here to access the page.

Seniors everywhere should think about these suggestions and make use of those that apply.



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