Staying organized after foreclosure to avoid missing bills

Have a system to make bill payments on time.

Photo credit: Pixabay

Photo credit: Pixabay

Going through home foreclosure causes a hit on your credit score of up to 160 points, according to CNN Money. To start rebuilding your credit, the most important thing you can do is pay your bills and pay them on time. Payment history accounts for 35 percent of your credit score, according to FICO. Having a family record keeping system is an important way to develop a schedule for making payments on time.

Several steps to decide what works best for you to avoid missing payments, according to the Getting Prepared, Getting Organized Unit in the Starting Over After Foreclosure Toolkit, are:

  • Choose one place to store all records and important papers. This may be a box, file drawer, or basket. Review the Organizing Your Important Papers Worksheet for helpful tips.
  • Decide who will take responsibility for ongoing record-keeping activities.
  • Develop a schedule for recordkeeping activities, including bill paying. Consider using the Spending Tracker or Bill Paying Calendar Tools available from Your Money Your Goals or the MI Money Health program page on Michigan State University Extension‘s website for additional resources. These worksheets will allow you to gain a realistic understanding of your expenses. You will also be better able to assess which spending habits are wants versus needs and if any adjustments can be made.
  • Review your credit report yearly to monitor it for mistakes and identity theft. You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report once a year from each of the credit bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. Order your reports from annualcreditreport.com.

Missing bill payments cause negative items on your credit report plus can involve late fees and added interest expenses. The key to family record keeping is organizing important records so that you can successfully manage your finances. Rebuilding your credit takes time, patience and discipline. Start by making paying bills on time a priority. 

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