Holiday Budget

Holidays can be hard on your good spending habits.   Generally, you do not want to max out your credit cards or open new lines of credit when you are trying to build credit (as for a home, auto, or student loan in the near future).  Minimize the holiday hangover on your credit card bills by building a budget. A budget can help you stay on track for your spending and saving goals.  If you can talk, text, and wrap presents, you can make a budget.  The Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater has a free online holiday budget calculator at http://www.myfloridacfo.com/YMM/Calculators/Holiday.aspx. …And remember to pay your bills on time every time.   Read More

Your Christmas Credit

Christmas comes but once a year…your credit card bill is monthly.  Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases may accrue interest before the gifts are opened.  Situations happen—medical hardships, job loss, divorce, loss of income, and Christmas—which can affect good bill-paying practices and damage your credit.  The thing is, you can fix it.  If you can talk, text, and chew gum, you can fix your credit score.   For general tips on do-it-yourself credit repair (for free), visit the Federal Trade Commission website at www.ftc.gov.   And if you are looking to buy a house (even if you have just lost a house to foreclosure), there are local credit counseling programs available that review the problems on your credit report and will help you make a plan to fix those issues.  Visit the St. Johns County Housing and Community Services website at http://www.sjcfl.us (click on “Housing & Community Services”) and the St. Johns Housing Partnership website at http://sjhp.org for more information. Read More