Changes in Credit Card Policies During this Recession

It is being reported that credit lenders including Bank of America, Citibank, and even store credit lenders are tightening their guidelines for credit applicants. They are also lowering credit card limits by up to 5% every quarter.

Basically, if you do not have good credit, it will be very difficult to obtain a credit card. It is also unlikely that you will receive an exceptionally high credit limit, even if you do have excellent credit.

We don't necessarily believe that these stricter guidelines are a bad thing, seeing that a big reason for our current economical crisis in America is that lenders were giving credit to risky borrowers in the first place that ended up defaulting on their loans.

This is yet another reason to become less reliant on credit cards. As with any recession, the economy will rise again in due time (unless we go into a full-blown depression, which cannot be certainly predicted at this point). However, training ourselves to save and use cash only as often as possible ensures that our personal finances will thrive -- during the good economic times, or the bad.

Save Money by Creating a Budget Plan

Do you go shop at the supermarket, pump gas into your vehicle every week, or pay your bills without knowing how much money you intend to spend? You will save money by creating a budget for every category of spending that comes from your household.

Example budget categories include:

  • Grocery budget - For food, multivitamins, pet care
  • Toiletry budget - For toilet paper, paper towels, cotton swabs, etc.
  • Fuel budget - Control how many miles you drive per week to come up with a feasible budget
  • Budget for discretionary spending - Do you really need those cell phone plan extras, a home phone when all your family members have cell phones, or those premium cable TV channels?
Having a daily/weekly/monthly budget set will ensure that you are getting the most out of your hard-earned money and being frugal with the items you do own. Learn how to get the most out of common household items with these frugality tips.

Being Frugal (Not the Same as Being Cheap)

You don't need to live cheaply to be frugal. Frugality is all about smarter spending habits and knowing how to get more value out of your buck.

Some frugal habits include:

  • Accessing your needs before your wants
  • Buying based on value rather than luxury (name brands should not matter)
  • Minimizing waste
Check out Moolanomy's Frugalist Expense Reduction Guide for more tips.

How to Move On with a Poor Credit History

Your credit was bad in the past and is slowly improving. How can you begin to put your credit past behind to sign a new lease, get a loan for a new car, or attempt to be a first time home owner? Incorporate these tips into your credit repair strategy:

  • Pay your bills on time, bring everything current, and negotiate with collection agencies.
  • Look for residential areas where the rental climate isn't so hot, and go for smaller landlords.
  • Pull your credit report once a year to check for errors.
  • Get a co-signer or put down a larger deposit.

Taking these steps, your credit will gradually improve and you will be able to strive for better assets.