Welcome to our giveaway, where you can instantly win a $200 T.J. Maxx Gift Card. The gift card is also good at Marshalls, HomeGoods, Sierra, or HomeSense.
There are 25 gift cards available for this giveaway.
There is also a prize slot for a free meal to a child in need, where we will make a donation to Feeding America’s Hungry Children on behalf of the winner.
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10 Strategies for Building Good Credit
Good credit is an essential part of financial success. It can help you get approved for loans, secure better interest rates on mortgages, and even get lower insurance premiums. Building good credit takes time and effort, but the results are worth it. Here are 10 strategies for building good credit:
1. Pay your bills on time – This may seem like an obvious strategy, but it’s worth repeating. Paying your bills on time ensures that you don’t incur late fees or other penalties. It also helps demonstrate to lenders that you’re responsible with credit.
2. Keep your debt-to-income ratio low – Your debt-to-income ratio is a measure of your ability to manage debt. Keeping this number low indicates that you can handle more debt responsibly and will be less likely to default on payments.
3. Don’t max out your credit cards – Maxing out your credit cards shows lenders that you rely too heavily on borrowing money, which could lead to defaulting on payments or missing payments altogether. Try to keep your balances well below the credit limit when possible.
4. Monitor your credit regularly – By regularly monitoring your credit report, you can keep an eye out for any suspicious activity or errors that could negatively affect your score. Many websites offer free access to credit reports from all three major reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion).
5. Reduce high balances – High balances on any of your accounts could signal potential financial trouble to potential lenders or creditors in the future, so try to pay off or reduce these balances as much as possible over time.
6. Don’t open too many accounts in a short period of time – Opening several new accounts in a short period of time can hurt your score by reducing the average age of all open accounts — another key factor in determining your overall score — so try not to open too many at once if possible.
7. Avoid closing old accounts – If you have accounts that have been open for a long time, don’t close them! Doing so can reduce the average age of all open accounts and thus lower your score as well as potentially remove positive payment history from the record.
8. Take advantage of automatic payments – Automatic payments can help you stay on top of your bills and ensure that you don’t miss any payments due to forgetfulness or other issues. Most lenders also offer discounts or other incentives for setting up automatic payments, so take advantage of these if available.
9. Use a credit-builder loan – Credit-builder loans are small loans from banks or other financial institutions that are specifically designed to help build credit. The loan is paid back over a set period of time, with the repayment history reported to the major credit bureaus, which can then be used to help build your score over time.
10. Become an authorized user – Becoming an authorized user on someone else’s credit card account can help you benefit from their good payment history and improve your own score in the process. Just make sure that the person whose account you’re added to has a history of making on-time payments and keeps their balances low.
Building good credit takes time and effort, but by following these 10 strategies, you can increase your chances of success and achieve a better overall financial future.
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