If your Memorial Day travel plans involve staying home, you can make the most of the long holiday weekend by cleaning up your finances. The federal holiday is a great opportunity to tackle some basic financial housekeeping duties as you prepare to head into the second half of the year.
Need some ideas for how to clean up your finances in time for Memorial Day? These tips can help.
1. Refinance private student loans
Getting a new loan at a low-interest rate to pay off your existing loans is a money-saving measure to consider this Memorial Day.
If you decide to refinance your student loan debt, it’s wise to use a student loan refinancing calculator, which takes into account your loan balance and new loan interest rate, to determine how much you could save.Don’t forget: The actual refinancing of private student loans typically means lenders will check your credit score and you may need to bring a cosigner on board to get approved for a new loan.
2. Refinance your mortgage, too
A mortgage refinance could lower your interest rate and potentially reduce your monthly payments.Here are a few tips to prepare for mortgage refinancing:
- Review your credit report and credit score to gauge your approval odds.
- Calculate how much you may save in interest charges by refinancing.
- Estimate what you’ll need to pay for closing costs.
- Shop around to find the best mortgage rates.
Mortgage rates are at record lows, thanks in part to the coronavirus crisis. Before committing to a mortgage refinance, make sure you crunch the numbers through Credible’s free online tool to see how much you could save.
3. Consolidate credit cards
Consolidating credit cards using a low-interest personal loan could save you money on interest and ensure that more of your monthly payment goes toward the principal.
“Now is definitely the time to consider consolidating debt into a low rate loan or even negotiating with your credit card companies over the interest rate they’re charging you,” said Wendy Terrill, founder of Assurance & Guarantee in Burlington, N.C. “We’re at the lowest interest rate since money was invented.”
If you’re planning to consolidate credit cards, first use Credible to compare rates with different lenders first. And check the loan fees before applying.
4. Take a closer look at your credit report
If you don’t check your credit report regularly, the almost midway point of the year is a good time to do it. You can get your report for free on a variety of sites.
Once you have, check for any suspicious activity that could hint at identity theft, such as accounts you don’t recognize. Then review it again to spot errors or inaccuracies.
“Often companies mix up accounts because the names are the same or the account numbers are very similar,” Terrill said. “Make sure the things on your credit report are actually all yours.”
And if you see an error, reach out to the credit bureau that’s reporting the information to dispute it.
If you believe you’re ready for a new credit card, keep an eye out for rewards. Make sure you understand the differences between the various types of cards — such as balance transfer or low-interest — to find the one that best fits your needs. Credible can help you easily compare cards to maximize rewards every time you swipe…Read more>>