The 3 Kings of Credit

Key Takeaways

  • Check your credit score annually to make sure there are no errors in your financial history. Free credit reports can be obtained at AnnualCreditReport.com.
  • The Fair Credit Billing Act requires the three main credit rating agencies—Experian, TransUnion and Equifax—to correct errors and disputes pertaining to your financial history.
  • To bolster your credit rating, make payments on time, manage your cash flow wisely, correct errors in your credit history and don’t utilize more than 30 percent of your available credit.

Your “3 Part” Rainy Day Fund

Key Takeaways

  • Make sure you always have three to six months’ worth of expenses saved in a rainy day fund that you can easily tap.
  • There are three aspects of a rainy day fund: objective, subjective and emotional.
  • A rainy day fund will enable you to weather the financial and emotional impact of a sudden job loss, medical emergency or unexpected major repair.

The American Dream —Your First Home

Key Takeaways

  • Before you embark on the dream of owning your own home, make sure there are no errors in your credit score or financial history.
  • If you can’t come up with a 20 percent down payment, you can often still buy a home—but you’ll typically need mortgage insurance.
  • Many new homebuyers underestimate how much they’ll pay in ongoing maintenance—budget $1 per square foot per year in addition to PITI.