Nothing will ruin your holiday like having a credit card declined at a key moment. At best, it is embarrassing. In a worst-case scenario, it leaves you stranded and desperate. This is why preparations for your holiday should include sorting out your credit. Here are a few tips on what to do to get your financial house in order before you leave home, whether it is for a weekend in the country or a month-long trip abroad.
Start Cleaning Up Your Credit
Your credit score is used in a variety of ways, whether you think they’re fair or not. Some car rental places won’t rent to you if your credit is bad. Bad credit will cause the interest rate you pay on your credit cards to go up, too.
There are a variety of ways you can start cleaning up your credit. Run your credit report and pay off any little accounts you forgot about. Fight any suspected identity theft and push anyone you co-signed a loan to pay for it. Little things can affect your credit, too. Not being on the electoral roll hurts you. Having the wrong address in your records can impact your score. It may also mean you’re missing bills, and unpaid bills definitely hurt your credit score.
Plan Your Purchases in Advance
Create a budget for your holiday, so that you don’t run out of cash and credit. Outline the likely costs of travel, food, lodging, and entertainment. Determine how much you’ll pay out of pocket and how much you’ll charge on your credit card. Then make certain you have sufficient credit to cover the costs you plan on charging along with a margin to cover an extra outing or unplanned emergency.
Do your research before you buy a new car or RV. Understand what the rental costs or monthly payments will be, and only purchase or rent something that you can afford. Also, do your research regarding lenders, so you don’t pay too much in interest or get rejected for the loan you need to buy the camper you wanted to take on holiday. Check your online options, as many online lenders will allow you to finance a campervan even if you usually can’t pass a credit check.
Don’t Go on a Shopping Spree
If you need a certain amount of credit to cover your travel costs, don’t start eating into the credit available by going on a shopping spree. If you start buying things you may or may not need for the trip, you may use up credit and cause a return ticket home or final hotel bill to be declined at the register. You also want to keep your credit utilisation rate low because using too much of the available credit hurts your credit score.
Plan on How You’ll Pay Your Bills
Before you leave on holiday, plan how you’ll pay your regular bills like the rent and credit card payments. Any missed energy bills or credit card payments will hurt your credit, and that will cause interest rates to spike. Missing court judgements could cost you in a variety of ways. Whether you mail cheques to the creditors before you leave or ensure you can pay your bills online no matter where you are, make certain you can pay your bills on time and in full. The last thing you need is having your car or campervan repossessed while you’re away from home.
It is hard to enjoy your holiday if you’re worried about your money. Furthermore, taking steps now to handle the financial aspects ensures you won’t be overwhelmed by bills when you return.