In today’s society, mental and physical health takes priority in the wellness chain, but how does your financial health rank? If you’re like many others in the country, it falls farther down the list. And at the root of the problem is debt. According to the Federal Reserve, the average American household carries $137,063 in debt. Yet the U.S. Census Bureau reports that the median household income was $59,039 in 2016, suggesting that many Americans are living beyond their means. Consequently, more Americans are using credit cards to cover basic needs like food and clothing. You may ask how does one reverse the trend or avoid it altogether?
Enter Castleigh Johnson, NYU Stern Consortium alumnus and CEO and co-founder of Trifigo, a platform created and tailored to help consumers manage their credit and improve their financial decision making. In his financial career, Johnson held many senior roles with Goldman Sachs, AIG, EY and BMO. He was also a bank examiner at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York during the financial crisis, which lead to his initial interest in developing a unique consumer credit resource.
Johnson offers the following information to help guide you in the right direction to good financial health:
- Your credit score is the minimum cut off many firms use to identify consumers they provide money or services to.
- It is your responsibility to review each of your credit reports and notify each credit bureau if there are errors.
- Minimize requests for credit from multiple companies in a short timeframe. It could appear that you are desperate for funds.
- Credit utilization is calculated off your revolving accounts (like credit cards) so keep your balances under 25 percent.
- If there are 1 or 2 missed payments on your report that you have paid, you can request to have them removed.
With patience and proactive steps, anyone can improve their financial stability. Want to learn more? Trifigo is a free tool that can assist you with keeping your credit-worthiness front of mind by making better financial decisions, thus improving your credit score. The Trifigo app is available for both IOS and Android users. View this YouTube video for instructions on how to setup an account.