Why Stay at Home Parents are Ruining their Credit

Being a stay at home parent is a big responsibility, especially if you are caring for more than one child. Your days consist of making breakfast, driving the kids to school, helping with homework, carpooling and much more!

It is easy to miss a credit card payment or two when you have so much on your plate every day. Here are four easy mistakes stay at home parents can make that can potentially ruin their credit:

1. Not paying attention to your credit report

The more you stay on top of your credit report, the better it will be. By not checking your credit report, you risk leading yourself into debt. Consider ordering copies of your credit report at least once a year. This not only allows you to take control of your credit and credit score, but also checks for inaccuracies, potential fraud and allows you to see what impacts your credit favorably and unfavorably.

2. Having too many store credit cards

Most stay-at-home parents are first to take advantage of coupons and discounts. Be careful and cautious when hearing about the discounts that store credit cards offer you – It may hurt you in the long-run. Opening several store cards around the same time can negatively impact your credit score. Don’t fall into the trap!

3. Falling into emotional and impulse buying

It can be a drastic change to go from a regular paycheck to solely cooking regular meals for your children. Parents can suffer from depression and anxiety from being at home all the time or even impulse buy because they are in such a rush. To avoid this emotional and impulse spending, make sure you have a set-list before you do any kind of shopping and know how much you are going to spend. Ask yourself, does it fit in my budget? If you are struggling to stay happy, then look into cheap options to better your mood. If the weather is nice, try going for a bike ride. Look into finding your own hobbies and alternative therapies to maintain positive thoughts.

4. Not having a credit card in your name – only as an “authorized user”

It can be difficult to get approved for a credit card or loan if you don’t have proper income to claim. If you are only an “authorized user” of your spouse’s card, then you won’t see much change in your credit score. In order to build your credit history, you should consider having a credit card in your name. To ensure you are maintain a good credit score, try not to cancel the existing cards you have already in your name. If you don’t use the card regularly, consider putting something like your phone bill on it to maintain good credit in your name.

As a stay at home parent, you are always juggling three things at once. There may even be a time when you will need to apply for a loan too, whether this is for you or your children. Don’t let your good debt turn into bad debt. Take time to go over your credit history and make sure everything is paid on time. You are not only caring for yourself, but  your family too! Are you a stay at home parent? How do you stay financially on track? Feel free to leave a comment and let us know what your financial schedule is like! Feel free to leave a comment below*

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