Homework? Over the holiday break? Wait, I don’t even go to school anymore!
Listening to a podcast while in the car this morning, I accepted a homework assignment to spruce up my personal finances as 2016 winds down. I like to share good news, good advice and free information so here we go.
Whether or not New Year’s resolutions are part of your annual transition plan this is an assignment that we all should do at least once a year.
- Go to annualcreditreport.com and click the red button to request your free credit reports from the big 3 credit agencies, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. You are allowed a credit report for free every 12 months.
- Review your credit reports. How many credit cards are in your name? Search for suspicious activity! Spot identity theft early!
- Go to creditkarma.com and request your free credit score. 700 and above is a good score.
- Go to the Social Security Administration website and request your free social security report. We used to receive these reports in the mail once a year until SSA went paperless a few years ago. And honestly, do you trust the SSA enough to wait until you are 68 years old to find out what your monthly payment is?
- Make an extra payment on a credit card balance, school loan, IRA, or your mortgage. You will step through the door of the new year with a twinkle in your eye and a bounce in your step (unless you over-indulge #NYE in which case you may have on sunglasses and shuffle instead!)
Extra credit: Clean out your snack drawer. Yep, I did this too. Goodbye, Christmas stocking stuffer candy! Goodbye, homemade cookies. Crackers, you too, out of my kitchen.