Establish a Good Credit Record
Three large companies compile information on the borrowing history of almost everyone. They get their information from credit card companies, utilities, financial institutions and other companies. Every time you apply for credit, whether it is completing a credit card application, getting an auto loan or signing a lease for an apartment, the company you are working with will probably request a credit report. Also, employers are more commonly requesting credit reports before extending an offer of employment to a candidate. So it's critical that you take steps to ensure your credit history is positive.
To maintain a solid credit rating:
- Be sure to pay every bill before the due date. Promptness counts and you want to avoid any late payment fees.
- Pay your credit card balance off in full each month. If that's not realistic, then strive to pay more than the minimum payment due.
- Don't have too many credit cards—even if you don't use them. Every time you apply, it is noted in your credit record. Limit yourself to one or two cards.
- At least once a year, order a free credit report on yourself. If you notice an error in your report, be sure to contact the credit agency and have it corrected.