cFB AND IcBA OFFER TIPS FOR DEVELOPING AND MAINTAINING GOOD cREDIT HABITS
Citizens First Bank and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) are encouraging customers to plan for their financial future by establishing and maintaining good credit habits to create a blueprint for financial wellness and prosperity in the New Year.
“Good credit is essential to a strong financial foundation, so it’s important to build and maintain responsible credit practices that demonstrates sound money management principles to help you achieve your short and long-term financial goals,” said, Evan Trenkamp, VP Senior Lender at Citizens First Bank. “By working with your trusted community banker at Citizens First Bank to create a budget that reflects your finances and lifestyle, you can better manage your spending and savings behavior to reach your goals and avoid financial setbacks.”
Citizens First Bank and ICBA offer the following tips to help consumers build and maintain good credit.
- Open a checking account and keep careful track of your balance to help establish a credit history.
- Use debit and credit cards for convenience and safety. Be careful not to overspend and avoid missed or late payments, which can damage your credit and hurt your credit score.
- Develop a good mix of credit (such as a revolving credit line and an installment loan) to boost your credit score and demonstrate that you can manage different types of credit.
- Show stability in the three to six months before a major purchase. Avoid opening or closing accounts or moving large amounts of money around.
- Build an emergency fund equal to at least six months of living expenses. Establishing a financial cushion to help absorb unexpected expenses and avoid penalties and fees for missed or late payments.
- Alter your credit focus as you approach different life stages. While Gen Z might be saving for a down payment, a Gen Xers or baby boomers may be paying down debt to plan for retirement, respectively.
- Monitor your credit regularly so you can correct any errors and detect potential signs of identity theft. Order a copy of your credit report annually from www.annualcreditreport.com.
“By establishing good spending and saving habits early you can retain your financial footing and more quickly recover from temporary financial roadblocks,” said ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey. “Reach out to your neighborhood community banker who can offer sound financial advice to help you navigate life’s financial milestones and plan for your future.”