Columnist: Keep your credit healthy

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Jerry Johnson

Contributing columnist

Your credit — how is it?

I get over 50 calls a week asking to rent a house. My first question is, “How is your credit?”

Forty eight of the 50 say, “It is not too good.”

Guess what boys and girls, you will pay more for your insurance on your car, boat or house because your score is low. When you buy a car, you will sometimes pay three times as much interest as the person that pays on time. You never stop paying more for being late.

What can you do about it? Plenty! Start paying on time every month.

Go back and pay those people you skipped out on and order a free credit report — 1-800-322-8228 — and look over it. As a rule, it is very accurate, but sometimes they do make mistakes.

One time they had me having two trucks and a boat I did not have and living in Alabama, so they do make mistakes. Now that we have you on the right track to getting your credit score above 650, let’s go to the next step.

To get something, you must be willing to give up something. Get yourself a checking account. Start paying your bills the first of each month and save some money for those things in life that always happen.

Your car battery goes out or you have to spend $300 at the dentist. It is called life, as Dave Ramsey says. Have $1,000 for all the little problems you will have in life.

How do you save it? A little at a time. Watching the Braves on TV will save that $200 you would drop at the ball game. Getting a $5 pizza and heating it at home saves that $50 dollar pizza bill.

The little things you save will make a big difference in just a short time. Save for the rainy day as my dad would say.

James Stogner would say, “Spend less than you make.”

It all comes down to being a good steward of your money. I see people that make over $100,000 each year and are broke while other people making $45,000 have houses and cars that are paid for with money in the bank. The choice is yours, my friend.

Jerry Johnson is president of First Realty of LaGrange.