Credit Tips for your 20s, 30s and 40s

Every decade brings about new challenges and opportunities, so it should be no surprise that credit scores vary by age groups. Our statistics have shown that young adults aged between 21-29 years old are the most credit hungry, making up 19% of credit applicants in 2015. As young adults move from their twenties to thirties and forties, their credit score will continue to rise each decade as they build credit and manage it until their golden years.

A number of factors such as credit account history, presence of late payment, newly opened credit influence your credit score. Your credit score is dynamic and it is a continuous reflective behaviour regardless of the age group you are in. Here are some credit tips to keep in mind for your 20s, 30s and 40s.

Credit Tips for Your 20s

This is the time when you should be laying the groundwork for a bright financial future. Your credit score may not seem like a priority to you now in your twenties but it is guaranteed to influence the cost of the big tickets you will make in life. This is especially so, during life milestones such as qualifying for a car loan, taking out a HDB loan, planning a wedding or purchasing expensive items with a credit card. A good credit score is crucial for these financial successes.

To start building a positive credit history, consider getting a credit card. Credit cards are valuable stepping stones to measure and track your credit and financial progress overtime. As you get to decide how much to charge and pay off every month, a credit card provides insights on how responsible you are with credit and it can boost your scores. Paying your credit balance in full every month helps to maintain your credit rating and build a good credit history.

Credit Tips for Your 30s

As you ease into your 30s and find yourself with more financial security, you may begin to plan for your major life financial goals – purchasing a home, having children or retirement planning.

You may find yourself applying for various loans to build the life that you want. It could be applying for a home loan or taking up an education loan for your child. These financial decisions can have a gradual impact on your life.

Beyond preparing for short- and long-term goals, your 30s is also a time to reassess your overall financial strategies. Budgeting money in your 30s will focus on managing increased daily expenses while planning for the future. Establish an emergency fund with at least 6 months’ worth of savings in your bank account as a financial buffer should an unforeseen expense happen. A percentage of your credit score is based on the credit owed/ used, thus it is important to pay down your outstanding balances and loans to maintain a good credit reputation.

It is also important to review your credit report half yearly and check your credit history. The credit report will contain a record of your credit payment history compiled from different credit providers that provides valuable insights into your financial history, knowledge and repayment behaviour.

Credit Tips for Your 40s

As the saying goes, “Life is a marathon, not a sprint.”

All too often, we race through the basic details of our finances and neglect to focus on crucial to-dos in the process - saving for retirement long before those golden years approach.

Retirement planning should be a primary financial goal as you enter your forties. As your savings increase, your credit card debts should be paid off and your credit history now spans a couple of decades. Achieving your retirement goals becomes easier when you have time on your side, as every year makes a significant difference with compound interest.

This article was contributed to ValueChampion by Credit Bureau Singapore

Duckju Kang

Duckju (DJ) is the founder and CEO of ValueChampion. He covers the financial services industry, consumer finance products, budgeting and investing. He previously worked at hedge funds such as Tiger Asia and Cadian Capital. He graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics with honors, Magna Cum Laude. His work has been featured on major international media such as CNBC, Bloomberg, CNN, the Straits Times, Today and more.

{"endpoint":"\/newsletter\/subscribe","style":"blue","title":"Keep up with our news and analysis.","version":"sidebar"}