The health of your credit will have an impact on every financial move you make, whether you’re hoping to buy a new home or car or you’re looking for a credit card to use on your next vacation. A simple way to evaluate your credit situation is to take a look at what is being delivered to your mailbox. While many companies are encouraging their customers to use online services and mobile technology to handle their business dealings, the majority continue to use the U.S. mail service to communicate. Invoices, monthly statements and other correspondence can give you a reliable picture of your financial health.
Credit Card Solicitations
The best credit card offers are sent to consumers with the highest credit scores and longest credit histories. If you’re finding offers with low rates and fees, you can be reasonably sure that your credit health is good. On the flip side, if you’re getting little to no solicitations, your credit history may unestablished (or damaged), with lenders viewing you as high risk for defaulting on your loans and credit accounts.
The interest rates being offered are one indicator of your credit health, but there are other things to consider about the offers you get in the mail. The type of offer is also important:
- Secured credit cards are offered to people who need to reestablish credit, an indication of little or no credit history and a poor credit score. A bank offering a secured credit card requires that you deposit a certain amount of money into a savings account at its bank. In exchange for the deposit, you will be issued a VISA or MasterCard. The amount deposited is your credit limit.
- Unsecured credit cards are what most people think of when they want a credit card – a line of credit that can be paid back over time. These are offered to people with average to excellent credit scores.
- Pre-approved credit card offers short-cut the application process by determining in advance your potential for approval. These solicitations are sent to the best customers with the longest well-managed credit history.
Delinquent and Collection Notifications
Do you dread opening your mail for fear of what you’ll find – unpaid bills, past due notices or ongoing threats
from collection agencies? These are obvious signs of financial trouble. Although it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in a financial crisis, it does mean you have some issues that need to be resolved. Disorganization is often the cause and it can be remedied with a little forethought and planning. Prepare a workable budget and take advantage of automatic payroll deposits and online bill paying services whenever possible.
What’s NOT in Your Mailbox?
An even more dangerous sign of trouble may be what you don’t find when you go to collect the mail. Anyone who has financial dealings of any kind should know when their bills arrive each month. Bank, credit card and other financial communications are targets for identity thieves. If one of these documents doesn’t arrive in your mailbox, don’t hesitate to call the institution for help. If your account is compromised, the sooner you take action the less damage that will be done to your account.
* Problems with debt? Consider debt settlement services…