Dufrene: First National Bank USA offers tips to establish & maintain good credit

Published 8:35 am Friday, January 17, 2020

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First National Bank USA is encouraging consumers to start the New Year right by establishing good credit habits and financial wellness goals to get on the path to financial prosperity.

Having good credit is key to a strong financial foundation, so it’s important to build a record of responsible credit practices that demonstrate sound money management. Remember, it’s much easier to build a credit score than repair a damaged one. First National Bank USA is here to help as you embark on your credit journey and help you avoid costly missteps.

First National Bank USA offers the following tips to help consumers build and maintain good credit.

  • If you are just beginning to establish your credit history, open a checking account and keep careful track of your balance.
  • Use debit and credit cards for convenience and safety, but not to overspend. Missed or late payments damage your credit and hurt your credit score.
  • A good mix of credit (such as a revolving credit line and an installment loan) also boosts your credit score and further shows that you can manage different types of credit.
  • Demonstrate stability in the three to six months before a major purchase. Avoid opening or closing accounts or moving large amounts of money around.
  • Build an emergency fund equal to at least six months of living expenses. If the unexpected happens, you will still be able to pay fixed expenses instead of falling behind.
  • Alter your credit focus as you approach different stages in your life. As you near retirement, for example, start paying down major purchases, such as a mortgage.
  • Monitor your credit regularly so you can correct any errors and detect any potential signs of identity theft. Order a copy of your credit report annually from annualcreditreport.com.

Maintaining good spending and saving habits early can help you retain sight of your financial goals and navigate life’s unexpected twists and turns. Call on your trusted community banker as you navigate life’s major financial milestones.

Brandt J. Dufrene is the Chairman, President and CEO of First National Bank USA, Home of No Hassle Banking. First National Bank USA has offices in Boutte and LaPlace serving the River Parishes. He can be reached at 985-785-8411 or brandtd@fnbusa.com.