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Tips for Managing Debt

Repaying your debt can often feel challenging. That’s why making a plan to manage your payments and balances can help. Take a look at these tips and discover what small steps you can take today to make managing your debt easier.

Monitor your credit regularly

Make sure you stay on top of your credit activity. Check all three national credit bureaus annually to verify there are no errors. Don’t worry, requesting your reports won’t affect your credit score.

Know your limits

Being close to or maxing out your credit limits may negatively impact your credit score. It’s a good idea to keep your balance on revolving lines under 30% of your limit.

Take on new debt only when needed

Apply for and open new credit accounts only if you need them, because having too many accounts can lower your credit score and may become difficult to manage.

Qualify for lower rates

See if you qualify for lower rates on your current debts, especially if your credit has improved or if interest rates have dropped since you originally applied.

Think before closing accounts

Closing credit card accounts may lower your available credit and could hurt your credit score in the short term. Consider keeping accounts open if they have the best payment history and the lowest balances.

Know your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio

Lenders look at the amount of debt you have compared to your monthly income when extending new credit, so it’s a good idea to keep your DTI ratio under 35%.

Pay more than the minimum

Paying more than what’s due, or paying every two weeks, instead of the minimum balance once a month. This helps to pay down debt faster and may improve your credit score.

Always pay on time

Payment history makes up 35% of your credit score. If you’ve missed a payment, pay as soon possible — it makes a difference.  Credit reports will track if you are 30, 60, or 90 days late on payments.

Keep balances low

Keep balances low on credit cards and other revolving accounts; keeping your balance below 30% of your total available credit may improve your credit score. The lower your balances, the better your score.

 Relationship discounts 

As a valued Wells Fargo customer, you may qualify for an interest rate discount on an eligible Wells Fargo loan.  Contact a banker to see how you can qualify.

DTI Ratio: Less than 35%

Relative to your income, your debt is at a manageable level. You most likely have money left over for saving or spending after you’ve paid your bills. Lenders generally view a lower DTI as favorable.