4th Quarter 2017

Strategies For Building Your Credit Record

A good credit record not only can help you get a better rate on a car loan, mortgage, or credit card, but it may also affect your car insurance premiums (in states where allowed) and your ability to get an apartment, cell phone, or even a job. Make sure your credit record is a help, not a hindrance.

Check your report with the three main credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You can order a free copy from each bureau every 12 months at Review your reports for errors and look for areas where you can improve.

Understand what affects your credit score. Lenders distill information from your report into a number that can make a big difference in the rate you are charged when you borrow. Paying bills on time is the most important factor, and it also helps to keep your credit-card balances well below your credit limits (called your "credit utilization ratio"). See Boost and Protect Your Credit Score for more information.

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