As the coronavirus pandemic continues to alter nearly every person's daily life, it's important to prepare for what this means for your finances going forward.
It's OK if your credit score isn't top-of-mind at the moment given the financial uncertainty many are feeling, but it's crucial to at least think about the health of your finances as we head into the future.
A good credit score can open up borrowing opportunities when you need loans and help you earn a lower interest rate on the best credit cards. Taking action now to improve or maintain your score can save you money in the long run.
Below, CNBC Select explains why it's important to prepare your credit for post-pandemic life and how to do it.
Planning ahead can help you prepare for surprises later down the road, such as a decrease in your credit score or creditors limiting your available credit.
"It isn't uncommon for creditors to re-evaluate credit and lending during times of uncertainty, and this is one of those times," says Leslie Tayne, a debt-relief attorney and founder of Tayne Law Group. Be aware of the certain card benefits and terms that issuers can change without advance notice, such as your credit limit, rewards rate and variable APR.
There are other limited-time changes that issuers are making in response to the coronavirus that can benefit cardholders. Some are revising their rewards programs to address the new ways people are spending their money.
For example, Capital One recently announced new cash-back rates for its Savor cards. Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card and Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card cardholders can automatically earn 4% (Savor) and 3% (SavorOne) cash back on eligible streaming services through September 30, 2020. Previously, streaming purchases earned only 1% cash back.
American Express has also added new benefits geared toward grocery, food delivery, streaming and wireless categories across 11 of its premium cards. Consumer co-branded credit cards like the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card now include bonus rewards at U.S. supermarkets.
There are a number of steps to take to prep your credit for the post-pandemic future that awaits us all.
While preparing your credit for a post-pandemic life may seem like a big to-do, start first with the simple step of reviewing your credit report.
Monitoring your credit is a good habit to have, and half the battle of prepping your credit for the future is knowing what has affected it during these past few months.
"Remember that this situation won't last forever and that when you have a steady income once again, you can work to get back on track," Tayne says.
Information about the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, and Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.