Family Budgeting 101: How to Build Your Credit Score

January 14, 2021

Deciding to start a family is a considerable commitment that you push through with your partner’s help. Unfortunately, the joy of building a family with your spouse doesn’t come without challenges. Financial stress nowadays is common among families in South Africa, especially during these trying times. The global pandemic’s effect on a large scale trickles down to the smallest of homes.

Keeping up with mortgage rates, maintaining stable employment and keeping up with asset management will be difficult without a viable safety net. This is why it’s the most crucial time for families to have a good credit score to account for potential financial emergencies.

Putting your family first: Increasing your credit score

Many families’ plans had to be put to a halt due to the global pandemic. However, that doesn’t mean that you should start being lenient about your credit score for your long-term financial goals. The healthcare crisis shouldn’t prevent you from saving up for a car or a new home. This is why you need to maintain a great credit score to increase your chances of achieving your goals.

If you want to have access to advantageous financial solutions in the future, here are three ways to improve your credit score:

1. Settle your debts on time

Although your utility bills won’t show up in your credit reports, your service providers will turn over your account to collection companies after your payments. If you don’t pay your utility bills on time, you’ll have a negative mark on your credit rating. Being punctual about your paying habits is a simple yet effective way to maintain a decent credit record.

2. Avoid opening too many credit card applications

Although it’s beneficial to diversify your credit assets, it’s wrong to think that focusing on quantity will give you a higher credit score. Maintaining too many credit card applications can implicate you for having a bad habit of keeping and paying for your debts. Lenders can think that you’re using one credit card to pay for another in a continuous process of delaying your debt payments.

3. Monitor your credit reports closely

You can conveniently check your credit score by looking at the overview of your credit report. It gives an overview of your spending habits and reminds you if you’re spending too much money in a short period. Besides keeping your spending habits in check, monitoring your credit report is necessary to protect your account from fraud.

Criminals can use your credit information to steal your personal data and make unauthorised purchases under your name. If you’re careless, you can end up paying for products unknowingly, even if you’re settling your debt on time. This can be a more complicated issue if you have a joint account with your spouse. Like any challenge in your partnership, it’s important to be transparent with each other to track and liquidate your assets and expenses. Doing so will ensure that both of you are aware of the other person’s spending.


Having a family can put you in financial dilemmas that are too difficult to handle, even if you have a partner to support you. Worries about sustaining your mortgage, securing enough savings and maintaining your spending habits are much harder to do when you have to consider others. This is why it’s necessary to keep a favourable credit score to have alternative ways to approach your financing problems. Maintaining a high credit score is an excellent investment in the long-term to match your family’s growing needs.

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