Masks and Credit – Both Protection

I’m going to go there.  I know it’s a bit of a hot subject right now, but therewoman mask just isn’t any way around it.  Let’s talk about masks.  I don’t know where you are on the matter, and frankly, I’m not here to convert you one way or the other.  The mask conversation is just one of those things that is happening right now.

I remember seeing people from Asia on TV wearing masks and I always thought, “There’s no way I’d ever do that.  That’s just crazy.”  And yet, here I am with a stash of masks so that I always have one on me.  Why?  Well, some places it is required.  But there is also science that does support wearing them.

Interestingly, the predominant view is that masks aren’t necessarily to protect the wearer as much as they are to protect those you come in contact with.  Whether it is actual reduction in transmission or helping others feel better about your effort, wearing masks probably have a positive impact on most of those around us.

Have you ever thought about your credit history being a mask of protection for those around you?

I have run into a lot of people who truly don’t know where their credit history is at and just don’t care.  They are going to keep on keeping on doing their thing.

Ok, that’s fine.  But do you know how many things are impacted by your credit history?  Loan availability (including things kind of important like vehicles and a home).  Rental approval if you choose to rent your home.  Cost of insurance (because the more you spend there, the less you have for other things).  Employment.  Professional licensing.  Utility deposits and cell phone approval.  All of these things are impacted by your credit history.

But you don’t care?  Ok, but how about those people in your life who will also be impacted by these things?  Significant other?  Children?  Grandchildren?  How will your credit history impact them?  Your poor credit history could prevent you from having access to safer housing for your children.  Your poor credit history could keep your spouse from getting their dream job.

Yup, it really could be that serious. 

If you haven’t worried about your credit to this point or do know where it stands and it’s not good, fear not.  Poor credit is something that you can definitely recover from.  You can build a solid credit history that will help provide a mask of protection for those closest to you.

  • Most negative items fall off your report after 7 years.  Even if they are still on your report, the older they are the less impact they have.
  • While there are credit report items that are negative, there are also items that are positive.  Even with negative items still on your report, you can begin to build history with positive items.
  • You don’t have to have perfect credit.  Depending on where you are starting, an improvement of even a few points can make a difference for you.
  • And perhaps most importantly, like most of us don’t have to face health issues alone (doctors, etc.), you don’t have to face your credit issues on your own.  There are people that will truly help you improve and maintain a positive credit history.
  • There are a number of different options out there.  Just like different options of masks, the different options in credit help provide varying levels of effectiveness.
  • To make sure they are truly first and foremost focused on you, make sure your help is a not-for-profit credit agency.  The bulk of their funding is probably coming from grants, so they don’t have to charge you an arm and a leg and then use some smoke and mirrors to justify the sacrifice of your favorite arm.

Particularly if you are in or near eastern South Dakota, the Center for Financial Resources is a great place to start.  We can pull your credit report (without it being a negative item on your credit report) and walk you through what it says, means, and what you can do to improve it.  We will walk through that journey with you.

You can schedule an appointment on our website at CFR.LssSD.org or by calling us at 605-330-2700.

 

written by Breck Miller, Community Relations Coordinator
images courtesy freedigitalphotos.net

LSS Center for Financial Resources
Consumer Credit Counseling Service | Housing Resources | Sharpen Your Financial Focus| Financial Fitness Education
705 East 41st Street, Suite 100 |Sioux Falls SD 57105-6047
605-330-2700 or 888-258-2227
www.LssSD.org
Strengthening Individuals, Families & Communities

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