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5 Lessons Thanksgiving Can Teach You About Credit

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November is here and that means one thing: You survived the diet-destroying, cavity-acquiring Halloween and now you only have three more events to look forward to for the rest of the year — Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve

Thanksgiving is a time of turkey and stuffing and football and post-dinner napping. It’s also a time to teach us some reminders about boosting our credit score. Here are 5 Thanksgiving-inspired tips to help you with your credit:

Tip #1. You can’t ONLY eat pie for Thanksgiving

If you were to take an informal poll around the dinner table, most people would trash the turkey and just have three servings of pie. But no one actually does that because you need to eat other things. Likewise, good credit comes from scooping different types of credit onto your “plate” — so make sure you hold a combination of installment and revolving credit card accounts.

Tip #2. Rake up the leaves early

If you wait to rake up the leaves, your overly-critical brother-in-law will mention it and then the snow will cover the leaves and your lawn will look awful in the spring. Don’t wait to clean up your leaves! Rake your leaves early before everyone gets to your house for Thanksgiving. Likewise, the best time to rebuild your credit score is right now. It can be tempting to wait until the new year to rebuild your score but today is the best day to get started!

Tip #3. After dinner, the job is only half-done

Thanksgiving preparation is a lot of work. Then you eat… and most people disappear home or on a walk afterward. But there is a mountain of pots and pans and dishes left in the kitchen and they still need to be cleaned up. Likewise, once you have achieved good credit, you have done only half the job. Now you need to maintain it. Tackle your credit maintenance in the same way you tackle those dirty Thanksgiving dishes — one step at a time.

Tip #4. Don’t forget the leftovers

Thanksgiving always produces enough leftovers to last through the New Year. But what are leftovers really? It’s the food that people didn’t want at the table. Likewise, you have credit accounts that you use regularly (like your mortgage and one or two “main” credit cards) but you also have credit accounts that are just like leftovers — barely touched. Make sure you use these accounts from time to time to keep them contributing to your credit score.

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Tip #5. It’s all about family

Thanksgiving sounds nice but is really quite stressful and absolutely terrible for that diet you’re trying to stick to. So why do we do it each and every year? It’s really about family. We love them and family is important. Likewise, you don’t rebuild your credit just to have good credit. You do it for a reason — to have the credit to get that loan to buy that car or that house. There’s a bigger, more important reason that makes the work of credit building all worthwhile.

Thanksgiving is a time we look forward to being with family and friends and eating delicious food while the leaves turn color outside. This Thanksgiving, get inspired with these 5 tips to build (or rebuild) your credit!

Image: Ron Cogswell, via Flickr

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