Establishing and maintaining good credit is important – whether you want to obtain a mortgage, a car loan, or a student loan, your creditworthiness is the key to your financial life. If you have bad credit, it will be more expensive for you to borrow money for any purpose because your interest rate will be higher.
In your credit report, you’ll find identifying information like your social security number, credit accounts, credit inquiries, public record information, and information on any overdue debt from collection agencies. Items that affect your score include your payment history, amounts owed, types of credit in use, and new credit. Items that aren’t taken into account include things like your race, religion, age, salary, and consumer-initiated credit inquiries.
If you’re just starting out, it’s important to build a solid credit history. Ensure that you pay bills on time. Don’t borrow more than you can pay back and don’t shift debts between accounts. FORUM offers a rewards MasterCard® Credit Card
that is designed to fit the needs of those who are new to credit. This can help you slowly build the credit you want. Keep in mind that if you have been managing credit for a short time, you shouldn’t open too many accounts too quickly. This can look risky and could impact your score.
For those that have less than perfect credit, you can still reach your financial goals by rebuilding your credit. You can improve your history by paying bills on time, getting current with missed payments, contacting creditors to work out payment plans, keep balances low, and pay off debt instead of moving it around. It’s also a good idea to reduce your overall debt. To get started, stop using your credit cards, determine your overall debt, and then come up with a payment plan to reduce your debt.
Regularly monitoring your credit is free and simple. For your benefit, FORUM members can receive a free credit report and analysis at any FORUM branch location