Building and Keeping Good Credit

By: Roger A Lee

Many people think the only reason to have good credit is for credit cards and loans. Do you today? Many employers ask to see an employee's credit report as part of their job screening and selection. Having good credit reflects on you and how you maintain your lifestyle.

Some co-op and condo boards request to see a buyer's credit report to determine if they will allow them to purchase in their building. Most apartment owners require a credit report before approving a lease.

Today most banks have CheckX or a similar service, which rates customers, to determine if the bank will do business with them. They partly rely on your credit report.

Building and keeping good credit is important.

In today's marketplace, it is close to impossible to rent a hotel room or a car without a credit card. You have difficulty making on purchases or placing deposits for special purchases.

Paying with a credit card is an easy way to make purchases, but using your card wisely and paying your bills on time also helps you build a good credit history, and that helps you obtain other kinds of credit. People with good credit generally receive better rates and terms on mortgages and auto loans. Other advantages to having a credit card include the ability to:

Shop by mail and over the Internet without having to send cash or a check.

Delay paying for purchases for at least 21 days without interest if you paid your previous bill in full by the due date.

Pay for big-ticket items and stretch out the payments over time.

Take advantage of laws that protect you from fraud and defective goods or services that you paid for with a credit card.

Building credit is a slow process, a credit score is based on the amount of credit you use and how you repay that credit overtime. In other words, if you get a credit card with a 1000.00 limit and use it to the limit and then send a payment in full, will not improve your credit score, but using it for several purchases each month and paying off or paying down your balance will give you a great score.

Using cash only and having no debts or having credit cards and not using them does not improve your credit score and can hurt your score when you need additional credit.

When you need to purchase a home, having a good credit score is vitally important, it not only effects your approval on a mortgage but also the interest rate and fees required. A slightly higher score can save you thousands and thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

Building and maintaining good credit, is just like keeping yourself healthy, if you have a good diet, do basic exercise and take care of yourself, you will be healthy, same with your credit, just watch it and be careful and live on a budget and spend right.

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Barry Norman is a contributor to and blogger at For over ten years has provided consumers free information helping them make sense of credit cards and the financial industry. Whether you are a longtime cardholder or looking for your first credit card, can help you make informed decisions.

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