By Michael RupuredUniversity of GeorgiaThe single most important way to protect your credit rating is topay your bills on time. If you pay on time, you avoid late fees,service interruptions and finance charges. More important, youcan dramatically reduce the cost of future loans.For some people, the problem isn’t that they don’t have themoney. More often the problem is simple forgetfulness. Thesolution is to get organized and set up a system. Set prioritiesMake your first priority your secured debts. These are loanswhere failure to make a payment leads to repossession orforeclosure, such as a home, automobile or furniture loan. Your second priority should be your “service” credit, such asrent, electric, natural gas, water and telephone bills. Payingthese bills late often results in disconnection and heftyreconnect fees, late fees and other costs. Lower-priority debts are “unsecured” loans, such as credit carddebt, medical bills and signature loans. Paying these late mayresult in late fees and added finance charges. But it won’tlikely result in disconnection, repossession or termination ofservices.Once you decide which bill(s) to let go for now, contact thecreditor before the due date. The biggest mistake people make iswaiting for creditors to call them. By then, creditors alreadyhave concerns about your ability to pay. When you call them before the due date, though, they’re much morelikely to see you as someone who’s serious about your financialobligations.Tell them you have a problem and what you’re able to do. Let themknow how much you can send and when you can send it. Most of thetime, they’re going to be willing to work with you to help youkeep your account current.Never tell the creditor something just to get them off the phone.The caller makes notes on your account of whatever you promise todo.Finally, follow through on what you said you were going to do. Ifcircumstances change and you can’t fulfill your obligations,notify the creditor right away. Failure to keep your word couldhamper your ability to negotiate terms in the future.Paying bills on time may seem like an ordeal. But a good systemfor keeping track helps simplify the task. And the payoff isworth any effort you invest. You’ve gotta have a systemYour system may simply be a legal pad, a loose-leaf notebook or alarge calendar. The type of system isn’t as important as whetherit works for you. Any system begins with a list of all regularbills, the amount you pay each month and the due date.When you don’t have enough money to pay all your bills on time,it’s important to make wise decisions.First, assess your situation. Figure out how much you can affordto pay and when you’ll be able to pay it. It might help to list your bills in order from the most to theleast important. For each of your bills, you need to know whathappens when you pay. If you must pay late, pay the accounts withthe greatest penalties first.
Munster have made 5 changes for this weekends Champions Cup semi-final against Saracens at the Aviva.The Tipperary duo of Donnacha Ryan and Tommy O’Donnell are in the starting 15.Conor Murray is still out injured – Duncan Willems is at scrum half while Tyler Bleyendaal returns at out half and Darren Sweetnam is replaced on the wing by Andrew Conway. CJ Stander has got over an ankle injury and starts at number 8 with Peter O’Mahony captaining the side from the blindside.Sean O’Brien is out of Leinster’s semi final clash with Clermont in Lyon on Sunday.Head Coach Leo Cullen has confirmed the back row has a tightness in his hamstring.Joey Carberry gets the nod at full back while Fergus Mc Fadden and Isa Nacewa are on the wings.The back row is Rhys Ruddock , Dan Leavy and Jack Conan meaning that Josh Van Der Flier is on the bench. Photo: © Munsterrugby.ie