Monday, April 2, 2012

How bad credit can affect your family

Financial indiscretions or poor money decisions affect your future and your family. Making late payments, missing payments, owing high balances or opening multiple credit cards lowers your credit score. Even if you made these mistakes during your college years, negative information remains on your credit report for up to seven years. When future creditors evaluate your credit history, your past mistakes indicate that you are a high credit risk. Creditors may refuse to extend credit to you or may assess high interest rates on new loans. Your family’s finances and future are adversely affected by bad credit.

Bad credit limits your ability to meet your family’s current needs. When you owe money to numerous creditors, you spend your income repaying the debts. You have no excess money to repair the leaking house roof or buy new clothing for your growing children. Your spare money goes toward repaying debt accumulated in the past. You also have access to limited financial resources. Already overextended, new creditors may be reluctant to open new credit cards or offer store credit for essential household expenses.

                                        Family Credit union Images

With poor credit, your family may be unable to obtain affordable housing. If your family expands, your home sustains weather-related damages or elderly parents must move in with you, you could be left without financial resources to purchase a new home or make improvements. Mortgage lenders and property managers perform credit checks on potential buyers. In most cases, they choose to extend credit and favorable interests rates only to the consumers with clean credit records. Poor credit reveals your history of missing payments or paying less than the minimum payment. You may lose valuable housing assistance because of bad credit.

After a vehicular accident, a new baby is born or never ending auto repair bills, you may wish to purchase a different vehicle. Bad credit limits your ability to purchase a reliable vehicle upgrade. While auto dealers advertise loans for consumers with bad credit, the money is not free. You will pay high interest or receive other unfavorable loan arrangements that limit your ability to maintain the payments and stay current on other household expenses.

Repeated phone calls or letters from creditors can lead to emotional stress or depression. Additionally, the weight of unpaid debt strains family relationships. One spouse blames the other for irresponsible spending. The strained relationship inhibits honest communication about a solution, and the debt cycle continues. In many cases, bad credit leads to emotional separation, health problems or divorce. Instead of suffering, work with your spouse to create a solution to your bad credit.

Bad credit indicates the possibility of poor spending habits. Unaddressed, increased spending on credit prevents your family from finding financial freedom. It keeps you stuck repaying creditors for items you probably do not really need.

Learn to live within your means. Record an accurate list of your family’s monthly income and expenses. Look for ways to increase your income, and cut unnecessary expenses. Use the excess money to repay outstanding debts and save an emergency fund. At least once a month, hold a business meeting with your spouse. Address the next month’s bills, and work out a manageable budget. By agreeing together on your financial goals, you improve your credit and protect your family’s financial future.

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