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By Charlestien Harris

Hello again my financial fitness trainees! 

As you know, we’ve been discussing the importance of lowering expenses and prioritizing bills.  Being able to stay current on bills can become increasingly challenging as the COVID-19 crisis continues. While our attention is of course focused on paying our most essential bills, we must also try to manage our credit efficiently.

You might be asking yourself this question: How do I maintain a decent credit score when I’m not sure how I will be making my next payment?  Thankfully, there are several steps you can take to protect your credit history.

      1. When the first sign of missing a payment arises, call your creditors.  Communication is the key.

      2. Let them know your current financial situation.  Give them the essential facts.

      3. There are some federal mandates that have been issued that will help with this difficult time.  Congress passed the CARES ACT, which has provisions for credit bureau reporting.

      4. The CFPB (Consumer Finance Protection Bureau) office has additional resources concerning credit that can be found in their publication, Your Money Your Goals.

      5.  Review your credit report often and check for inaccuracies that you may need to dispute. Now until April 2021, is offering FREE weekly credit reports from all three credit bureaus. Be sure to download a credit report review checklist from before requesting your report.

We should all be concerned about our financial health, but don’t let that concern turn into panic or fear. There are plenty of resources available to assist you with your financial needs.

Thanks for reading and until next week, stay financially fit!