Starting Down the Road to Clean Credit

One of my favorite resources for the topic of family finances is the Jean Chatzky show on XM Radio's Oprah and Friends station.  OK guys, don't tune out on me here just because the first line of this post has the word "Oprah" in it.  This stuff is crucial!  I know we are in the holiday season, because my Costco is already selling Christmas stuff in bulk.  With the approach of the gift giving season, it's time to remind ourselves that this will be the year we "end the madness" when it comes to credit card debt. 

Jean Chatzky's guest today was Steve Ely of Equifax.  Steve came on the discuss credit, and specifically how to get the best credit score possible.  Here are a few of his suggestions:

  • Pay your bills on time.
  • Try to have at least 50 percent of your credit limit available on each of your credit cards.
  • Don't open several new lines of credit at the same time.
  • Keep an eye on your credit report and dispute any discrepancies.

These are no-brainers, right?  Then how many of you know have an accurate read on your current credit score or have checked your credit report within the past 90 days?  Steve recommends trying to keep that score over 720 to maximize on getting the best interest rates available.  Getting a handle on credit card issues prior to the holiday shopping season can leave us all with more pleasant memories and dispositions in the new year.

Check out other tips for cleaning up credit at Jean Chatzky's site.


Lisa Hendey, Catholic wife and mom, is the founder and webmaster of and the author of A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms: 52 Companions for Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul and The Handbook for Catholic Moms: Nurturing Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul. Lisa writes for several online and print publications, enjoys speaking around the country and hosts the Catholic Moments Podcast. Visit her at

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