Protect Your Credit During the COVID-19 Crisis Part I discusses a number of tools to help you keep an eye on your credit. Now it’s time to be proactive. These steps can help you keep your credit on solid footing:
Pay your bills on time, if you can.
Even if it gets difficult, try to make at least the minimum payment by their due date. Late payments negatively affect your credit score.
Contact your creditors and service providers.
If you get to a point where you can’t pay all your bills, contact your creditors and any service providers such as utilities, phone company, etc.
Check your credit regularly.
Now is a critical time to make sure your credit reports are accurate. If you identify potential fraud, you can respond before it damages your credit.
Be extra protective of your identity.
Unfortunately, during times of crisis, scams and identity theft are at an all-time high. Protecting your personal information is essential. You can place a free security freeze on your credit files which prevents people from accessing
your personal information and using your name to apply for credit.
Get financial assistance, if needed.
Certified credit counselors can offer advice on how to repay your debts in a manageable way.
Dispute inaccurate information.
If you find inaccurate information when reviewing your credit report, you can file a dispute with each credit bureau. Each bureau has an online dispute center, which is the quickest way to file a dispute.
We want you to stay healthy – physically and financially. By keeping an eye on your credit and taking a proactive approach to maintaining/improving it, you can be confident in your financial wellbeing during these uncertain times.
If you are need of debt counseling, please contact our financial education partner BALANCE.
Their certified counselors are committed to providing comprehensive money management education. To speak to a counselor, call toll-free 1-800-777-PLAN (7526).
BALANCE is an amazing resource for all our members to utilize when taking on life's milestones. With trusted guidance available for free, they are ready to help everyone on the path to financial wellness. This article and many more can be found on their website: balancepro.org.