THE BLOG
02/03/2012 06:48 pm ET

4 Lessons We Can Learn About Credit From the Super Bowl

It's the Super Bowl this weekend! Even if you're not a football fan, it's easy to get drawn into the excitement of championship-level sports, or the social atmosphere of hosting a Super Bowl party, or maybe you're one of the many people who watch the game to see the half-time show or the commercials.

There are many reasons to watch the Super Bowl even if you can't get into regular-season football.

While I watched the growing hype about the game, it made me think of four credit lessons we can all learn from the biggest game of the football season.

1. "Good credit" doesn't mean "no debt." The two teams playing this year -- the Giants and the Patriots -- got to the Super Bowl because they were good. But they didn't win every game they played. They just won the right games. In your finances, you'll have some debt and that's okay. It's how you manage your overall credit that matters. Make sure you make the right choices when you hand over your money (or your credit card) to pay for things.

2. It's easier to win when you're not behind. I've attended some games where one team was being badly beaten. Near the end of the game, when it was clear that the losing team had no chance, people in the stands left early because the game was basically won. With your credit, it's much harder to improve your credit when you're in debt than it is to maintain good credit. If you have good credit, work hard to keep it good. If your credit is not in good shape, you need to go back to the locker room and revisit your strategy.

3. Good credit is achieved with a million good, little decisions. In football, it seems like it's the touchdowns that win a game. But it isn't. Rather, it's the small decisions that push a team closer to the end-zone so they can win a touchdown. Likewise, in your credit, you don't gain healthy credit with a couple of big, sweeping wins. Rather, good credit is achieved from small decisions that move you closer and closer to a better credit score.

4.You are not alone. When a team goes out to play, it's not just the quarterback on the field. It's an entire team. And on the sidelines are the coaches and game strategist. And let's not forget the thousands of cheering fans in the stands. In your own financial life, it can seem like you are alone. But you aren't. You can put together a team of people to help you and your family and friends are your own cheering fans in the stadium of your life.

You don't have to be a football fan to get excited about the Super Bowl. And you don't have to be a football fan to find credit-improving inspiration from the Super Bowl.

You are a champion in your own credit game! It's game day... Are you ready to challenge yourself and win?

Email me with a credit question, Jeanne.Kelly@thecreditowl.com