Tips to Take Control of Your Money and More for Financial Literacy Month

April is Financial Literacy Month and a recent survey by Experian, the leading global information services company finds some good news -- Americans have re-emerged from 2020 with renewed focus about their personal finances. If you are also looking to get on top of your money matters this year there are some key things you can do. Financial expert, Hill Harper shares tips and tools to help you save money, pay down debt and even raise your credit score.

Video Transcript

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- April is Financial Literacy Month. And a recent survey by Experian, the leading global information services company, found some good news, saying Americans have reemerged from 2020. Many people feel less worried about personal finances today versus a year ago when the pandemic started.

HILL HARPER: Folks haven't been going out, so they're not spending as much money. And they're using some of that savings that they're not spending to pay down some of their debt, which is increasing credit scores. So credit scores are at an all time high right now, which I think is fantastic.

So the real challenge is, how do we keep that good behavior going, moving as things begin to open up and moving out of the pandemic?

- There are some key things we can do, he says, to even better prepare ourselves financially this year.

HILL HARPER: Create an emergency fund. Save at least six months for your basic core needs. Pay down your highest interest debt first. Figure out what that is. Check your credit score often so there are no surprises, and you can actually take steps to mitigate any problems that there may be.

- As society continues on the road to recovery, Harper recommends tools, such as Experian Boost, to help consumers manage their finances.

HILL HARPER: So you go to Experian.com/boost, and what it is is you're adding in positive payment history for things that you're already paying for that may not be covered under the algorithm of your normal credit score. So you actually have the opportunity to potentially boost your score.

Any type of regular bill that you're paying through a credit card or bank account, you can load that information in, and you'll get credit through Experian Boost that can add positive payment history going back up to two years to hopefully boost your score. Experian has found that they've added 50 million points to people's credit score through the Boost program. And that's an average of 13 points per person.

- Utilizing free financial tools available, like Experian Boost, and setting financial goals is crucial so we can have something positive to look forward to, such as buying a new home or attending college. Harper says it's never too early to start saving for a rainy day, or too late to improve your credit score. For more tips during this Financial Literacy Month, you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @hillharper.