Independent Living Skills Coordinator
Editor’s Note: Carleda Johnson is Access Living’s Independent Living Skills Coordinator and the instructor in all of Access Living’s financial literacy workshops. She is also the coordinator of the Cross-Disability Support Group. In this article, Carleda celebrates Financial Literacy Month by answering some of the most common questions she receives about financial literacy.
Interested in taking control of your money? A new Financial Literacy Workshop series begins on April 22! Learn more and register for this free class here.
Having a good credit score is important for long-term financial health. Here are a few ways you can quickly improve your credit score:
It’s great to pay your bills on time, but if your credit card balances are high, paying bills on time won’t move your score up too much. In this instance, understanding and tracking your ‘credit utilization’ will help you.
Lenders consider a lot of things when it comes to loans, including information on your credit report, you income, and any current debts you have. Ultimately your creditworthiness is based on the 4 Cs:
A balance transfer is taking the balance from one credit card and moving it to a different credit card. This is usually done with a new credit card that has zero interest. What’s nice about a balance transfer is that it can allow you to pay off that debt more quickly because your payment will go directly towards the amount you own and not to the interest.
There are a variety of things you can do:
FICO weighs these five components to come up with your score:
A hard inquiry occurs when a lender with whom you’ve applied for credit reviews your credit report as part of their decision-making process. However A soft inquiry occurs in cases where you check your own credit or when a lender or credit card company checks your credit to preapprove you for an offer.
Yes! ABLE accounts are a great way for people with disabilities to save. ABLE accounts are tax-advantaged savings and investment accounts for individuals with disabilities. The individual with the disability is the ABLE account owner. The account owner, family, friends, may contribute funds into the account. ABLE account owners – both those who receive and those who do not receive public benefits – may save for qualified disability expenses related to transportation, health care, housing, education, retirement and more. You can learn more about ABLE accounts here.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) may be able to help with the below items: