Credit – Easy as the National Pastime

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baseball diamond at night

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics
Like the game itself, baseball analysis tends to be driven by specifics. People who most likely couldn’t hit a baseball unless it was sitting on top of their calculator have devised advanced and complex statistics, statistics most people with actual lives would never care to understand, to judge players’ performance.

Sound eerily familiar to any other game you know?

Little Numbers Add Up
Much like baseball, the world of credit judges us through a bunch of statistics that most of us haven’t a clue about. This can become problematic if we allow it to.

Any pitcher who’s ever had his ERA inflated by one bad outing will tell you that statistics can make us look a lot worse than we really are. The problem for you is that lenders don’t know you. All they have with which to judge your credit worthiness are statistics. That means that one or a few mistakes can negatively affect your credit more than you think they should.

[Free Resource: Check your free credit report and score]

The lesson: keep tabs on your credit report and your finances so you can avoid the crucial pitfalls that can really hurt your credit. Don’t worry, keep reading and you’ll see that it’s easier than you may think.

Easier than You Think
Let’s keep baseball in the picture. Specifics, whether they relate to technique or statistics, have done some great things for the game. They have allowed players to master proper technique and they can contribute to more accurate analysis. However, they can also be a constant frustration for fans and managers alike.

Every season we see players go through massive slumps, and it seems like it’s always apparent to everyone watching that the guy is overthinking, focusing too much on the technicalities of his swing or the mechanics of his pitching motion. You can see the wheels turning in his head, and you just want to slap him in the face like Cher in “Moonstruck” (how about that reference!) and remind him that the game is not rocket science.

When it comes down to it, baseball is simple. You hit, you run, you field, and you throw.

Keeping it Simple
Now apply this thought process to how you think about credit. There are many complexities that determine how our performance is judged and how people see us. Attempting to understand these statistics and algorithms would give most of us a migraine. So, it’s important to always remember that the aspects of credit that really matter are simple.

1. You apply for/acquire credit in some form
2. You use that credit
3. You pay for that credit usage. ON TIME.

There you go, and let me explain those steps in a little bit more detail so you see exactly what I’m getting at.

Apply for or acquire credit. This one’s pretty simple. To use credit and experience its benefits, you have to have credit. For most people, a credit card is the first type of credit they’ll possess, but regardless of the type of credit you’re most concerned with, the next two steps definitely apply.

Use that credit. The important thing to remember here is that using your credit is good for your credit, just don’t exceed what you can afford (see step 3) and try to avoid maxing out your credit cards. Try to use less than 30% of your available credit. Using more can make it appear as though your spending habits are out of control.

Pay for that credit usage. ON TIME. Making your payments on time will always be the most important aspect of credit management. Accordingly, when acquiring and using credit, you should always be mindful of the amount and timing of the payments. If those payments are going to be a problem, then stop and rethink what you’re spending.

[Free Resource: Check your free credit report and score]

Hopefully, remembering these steps will help prevent you from being intimidated by the world of credit. Yes, there are complex algorithms that determine your credit score and yes, lenders often examine mountains of data when considering granting you credit, but by remembering and following the basics of credit management, you’ll find that you can accomplish what you want with your credit without having to concern yourself with all of those outrageous complexities.