While you are making plans for that memorial day cook out, schedule some time this month to take care of these important tasks to help keep your financial life on track.
#1 Check Your Credit Score
It’s a good idea to check your credit score several times throughout the year. You want to make sure you there aren’t any errors which may have caused your credit score to take a hit or you haven’t been the victim of fraud. I recommend using CreditKarma.com to check your credit score for free. You will need to sign up and answer several security questions to get access to your information but in my opinion it’s the best spot to go.
TIP: Go to CreditKarma.com to get your credit score for free!
#2 Check Your Credit Report
Your credit report is different from your credit score. The credit score is a numerical value based on information you can find in your credit report. The report will show you the record of your financial activity that’s available to creditors. You can get a copy of your report for free from AnnualCreditReport.com. Check the report for any errors or unusual activity. If you do find anything inaccurate or suspicious you’ll want to contact the agency that released the report to try and get that cleaned up. Keep in mind that there are 3 credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. Each agency is required to provide 1 free report every year. So, the smart move is to request your free report from one agency this month, then 4 months later request from another agency. If you spread the reporting out throughout the year you’ll will do a much better job of staying on top of any credit issues than if you get them all at once.
Tip: Go to AnnualCreditReport.com to get your free credit reports!
#3 Check Your Beneficiary Designations
This is one of the most overlooked financial tasks. Not sure what a beneficiary designation is? The designated beneficiary is the person selected by an owner of a retirement account to inherit the retirement account balance. Oftentimes people select their beneficiary (or ignore it completely) when they open their accounts but never go back to update that information over time. You want to be sure your money will go to the right people should something happen to you. That can change over time due to births, deaths, divorce, etc. So, be sure to check any insurance policies, 401(k)s, IRAs and other retirement plans and make sure the people listed to inherit your assets are in fact the people you still want the to get your money. If you haven’t even selected anyone, now is the time to it. By making the selection your assets will go to the right people, avoid probate and be less of a headache for those you care about when you are not around.
For more financial planning tips, download my free report: “8 Steps to Organize and Optimize Your Financial Life”. Thanks for reading!