When it comes to credit, Shang knows what she is talking about. Not only has she reached financial independence, but Shang actually uses her credit to travel hack across the globe without overspending. She also works in her off-time as a financial coach, just like me and I wanted to see what her best tips were when it came to credit.
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Start with the Credit basics
According to Shang she reached financial independence through being consistent with her frugal lifestyle and spending less than she earned. The difference she would have spent on a lavish lifestyle instead was invested. Shang started out with a Capital One credit card during her first job out of college which only had a credit limit of $1,000.
When asked about how she was able to build great credit, here is what she said.
“The key to a great credit score is paying your bills in full and on time, and not opening [or] closing too many accounts all the time.”
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Pay your credit bills all at the same time
Common mistakes that Shang often sees is people not paying attention to their credit cards bills and not keeping track of the payment dates. Shang recommends that you have an organization system for all of your credit cards. She even called all of her credit card companies to have her credit cards due around the same time of the month.
Shang: “I can check all [of] my statements at once and pay all of them off.”
Have a strategy
Other tips that Shang provided were to monitor your credit and have an awareness of credit theft and fraud. Shang believes that credit fraud and identity theft are not a question of preventing it but having a strategy behind what to do when faced with the problem.
Shang: “Always get things in writing. Don’t take phone calls from people who claim to be from your [credit] company – you can always call back.”
Use credit to travel by using Reward points
Shang loves to travel and she had definitely earned it! She says one of the best parts about building great credit is the opportunity to utilize her rewards on her travel credit cards to airplane and hotel hop the globe without having to pay cash or go into debt in the process.
Shang: “I travel hack like crazy. As a result of travel hacking, my husband and I… had our entire honeymoon to Japan paid for completely with 4 star hotel stays.”
Travel for free by using sign up bonuses
But how does she do it? If you’re like me, you’ll probably be wondering how to earn free travel too. Shang gave me some great tips on how she is able to travel the world through travel hacking.
Shang: “Our style is around sign-up bonuses and maximizing statuses through some limited work travel… We typically meet our sign-up bonuses and then put the cards to rest. We prefer to utilize travel rewards on paying for things that we already would have bought anyways.”
Shang has some great tips when it comes personal finances. You can find her on Instagram where she talks about money, life, and travel. Her next destinations are Japan, Spain, Portugal, and returning to Hawaii. You can also read about how she lives a frugal life in the midst of New York City in her 5 – part series on reversing the science of marketing.