4 Financial Resolutions for the New Year
Whether your New Year’s resolution is to eat healthier, exercise more or reduce stress – here are a few tips that will help your financial well-being.
- Reduce your debt. Set a reasonable plan for paying off some or all of your debt from last year and stick to it. Prioritize debts, with secured debt first (mortgage, car, etc.). List unsecured debts (which include all the credit card holiday debt, and any other loans you may have) in order of highest interest rates. Make minimum payments on each except the highest interest rate, where you should make a larger monthly payment with available income. Depending on your financial situation, consider consolidating your debt with a home equity line of credit or a personal loan. Debt consolidation may offer lower interest rates and affordable monthly payments. Use this online calculator to see if debt consolidation is a viable option for you.
- Improve your credit score. If you are planning on purchasing a vehicle or home, then it is imperative to have a good credit score. This could save you thousands of dollars in the long run because it will allow you to get the best interest rates. Make it a good practice to review all your credit reports once a year. Federal law requires each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – to give you a free credit report every 12 months if you ask for it. Fail to do this and you could overlook fraudulent charges, identity theft or accounts you no longer need. If you have a low credit score, develop a plan to improve your credit – by accelerating your debt payments or fixing any errors. For more information visit www.annualcreditreport.com
- Build Up Savings. Update your savings goals for this year, including how much you would like to add to your retirement nest egg, your children’s education fund or the down payment on a home or car. To help reach your goals, be sure to transfer amounts earmarked for savings from your checking account to a designated separate savings or investment account that is not easily accessed making it less tempting for you to spend the money that you have managed to save.
- Use online tools to simplify your personal finances. Save time and money by managing your financial accounts virtually – either online or on your mobile device whenever and wherever it’s convenient. Take advantage of the many features and benefits online and mobile banking has to offer: receive paperless statements, deposit checks through your smartphone or tablet, schedule automatic payments to avoid late charges, check and transfer balances 24/7, set up alerts and reminders, and apply for a loan or open an account.
First Hawaiian Bank offers a wide range of solutions to help you achieve your financial resolutions. For more information, visit your nearest branch.