More than two-thirds of Americans’ financial situation did not improve or stayed the same in 2022 — here’s how to better your finances in 2023 – CNBC
This year has stressed the finances of many Americans. According to a recent Credit Karma study, 68% of American adults said their finances either didn’t improve or stayed the same in 2022.
The most common financial mistake cited by the study’s respondents was not saving money (40%), while 35% of respondents said they fell into some “bad habits” in 2022. These included not sticking to a budget, overpaying for rent, losing money in stock market or cryptocurrency investments, and not contributing to their retirement savings.
Fortunately, a new year is upon us and with it, a new chance to bounce back from some of 2022’s personal finance shortcomings. Here’s some basic tips to help make your 2023 a more prosperous one.
How to make 2023 a better financial year
Improve your credit score
If your credit score is in a less than ideal place, now may be the time to devise a plan to help you improve it — especially if you’re planning to purchase a house, a car, take on a personal loan or even open up a new credit card this year.
With a higher credit score, you can qualify for better interest rates on your credit card, mortgage, or loan, better loan terms and sometimes even higher funding amounts.
One of the most important ways to increase your credit score is to continue making on-time payments on any existing debt. Payment history makes up 35% of your FICO® score, so it’s the most influential factor here.
You’ll also want to make sure you keep your credit utilization low. Your credit utilization rate is the amount of credit you’ve already spent (your balance) divided by your total available credit (your credit limit). So if you’ve spent $5,000 on a credit card with a credit limit of $10,000, your credit utilization rate is 50%. It’s typically recommended to keep your total utilization below 30%, but the lower you can get it, the better.
Keep in mind that it can take some time to see drastic improvements in your credit score, however, every little score bump helps. If you need a slightly quicker increase, Experian offers a free Experian Boost feature that allows users to connect your utility, telecom and some streaming accounts to their Experian credit report, which can potentially increase their credit score. The idea is that you can receive a higher credit score for making on-time payments for things that aren’t traditionally reported on your credit report, like your phone bill, internet bill, or Netflix subscription.
On Experian’s secure site</…….
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