Your bad credit history strikes again. You didn’t even plan on applying for credit; You just wanted to get a 15 percent discount on your Macy’s purchase by applying for a store credit card. Nobody enjoys being reminded of past mistakes, but when you have a bad credit history, you are reminded of those financial mistakes every day. And not only is that a blow to your emotional well-being, it’s also bad for your health.
Bad credit = stress
When you face credit checks for typical consumer decisions like buying a cell phone, requesting a gas card, or even applying for a new job, it’s hard to think about anything else, and that can be stressful. “It’s no mystery that stress relief is critical for our emotional and psychological well-being as well as for our physical health,” Kimberly Rotter, a personal finance expert for creditrepair.com, says. A 2015 American Psychological Association report shows that money and finances affect 72 percent of Americans at least some of the time.
Bad credit is depressing
We all have dreams for tomorrow. Maybe you have plans to buy a new home, a better car, or build a healthy savings account for a dream vacation. But when you carry around a bad credit history, it’s hard to move forward with your goals. And, that can wreck your self-worth.
“To find relief, a person in debt needs to take practical steps to deal with the financial underpinnings of the problem,” Bill Fay, a writer for debt.org, says. “How are you going to deal with the challenges to your financial stability? And how will you handle its effects on your emotional life?” Fay says the answers to those questions will set the tone for the health and well-being of your bank account, your personal life, and your family’s future.
Bad credit is bad for your health—literally
When financial times are tight, what is the first thing we scrap? For many of us, it’s our health. Trips to the dentist get delayed, annual checkups are ignored—all because we fear we can’t afford them. This is no way to live, and it certainly isn’t a healthy habit for your family.
The time is right to make some changes in your finances. “It helps to have an action list handy to help you reach your goals,” Naomi Mannino, a personal finance expert, says. First, Mannino says to request a credit report and check for errors. Second, set a budget that includes doubled up payments on outstanding debt. Finally, talk with a financial expert to help you determine the best strategy for your financial future.
The good news is that your credit history isn’t permanent, so don’t allow bad credit to be an unwelcome symptom of poor health. By taking steps now, you can repair financial mistakes of the past and secure a healthy and happy financial future.
Amy Osmond Cook is the Executive Director of the Association of Skilled Nursing Providers, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about best practices in senior care. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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