Your credit score is a 3-digit number that represents how likely it is that you will pay your bills on time. There are many different ways agencies calculate your credit score and many different companies that use your credit score:
• credit card issuers
• auto lenders
• mortgage lenders
• potential landlords
• insurance companies
• debt collectors
• utility companies
Your credit score is used to factor whether you qualify for life insurance, and if so, how much you will pay for insurance. If you want to protect your family, it’s important to protect your credit score.
Due to the global COVID pandemic and rising unemployment rates in the United States, many Americans are finding themselves behind on their bills. If you’re a week or 2 late, you may have to pay a late fee. And, you may have your interest rate increased. But if you are a month – or months – late on paying your bills, that becomes part of your credit history and will negatively impact your credit score for years to come.
According to the personal finance experts at Mottley Fool, a phone call is the #1 thing you can do to protect your credit score.
If you are more than a couple of weeks late paying your bills, or if you miss a payment, the most important thing you can do to protect your credit history and credit score is to call the issuer’s customer service and ask for payment assistance. They have the option to wave late fees, penalties, interest increases – and to not report your late payment to the credit score companies. Honestly explain your situation and why your payments are late, and based on your previous payment history to provide you with assistance.
Depending on your personal circumstances, you may have to make this call more than once.
But by proactively contacting your creditors when you are late on your payments, you are protecting your credit history, your credit score – and your family.
Regardless of the value of your estate, it’s important to have an estate plan in place. The experienced estate planning attorneys at Estate and Probate Legal Group serve clients in Cook, Dupage, Kane, Lake, and Will counties in Illinois can advise you on the best options to protect your assets and loved ones. To talk to an estate planning attorney contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835.