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Credit Basics

A lot of people are really confused when it comes to their credit. They don’t fully understand how it all works. They don’t think it matters that much. They pay all their bills so they don’t worry about it. At some point in your life, you will most likely need to really take a hard look at your credit. There may be things you didn’t realize that may hold you back when you need it most.

A good place to start is by actually checking your credit scores. This gives you an idea of where you are ranked in the financial world. If you haven’t already done this, pull your credit report from a reliable source. You can get your information from Experian, TransUnion, your bank, etc. I use Credit Karma the most. Review every bit of it and if anything is incorrect, you can dispute it. They generally estimate it taking a month to go through the process, but I’ve seen things removed in about a week.

Once you’ve made sure your information is correct, you should keep an eye on it in case things change. I check mine every few weeks, but then I’m obsessed with increasing my credit score at the moment. A lot goes on that you don’t even realize. I’ve seen accounts get removed, then added again later under a different company name. Carefully choose ways to help build your credit, instead of hurting it in error.

I recommend not applying for every card that comes your way. The loans and cards may help at the moment, but you now have additional payments to manage later. If you’re able to, it does help to set up automatic payments. Late payments will only prevent you from catching up, especially if you’re late on more than one bill. It’s also best to keep your charges below a third of your credit. If your balance goes up, try to make an additional payment to bring it back down.

If you are starting out or just don’t have any credit at all, you may feel extremely stuck. It is a very difficult place to be in. I would normally say that Credit Karma recommends cards accordingly, but you won’t be able to access it without any credit. I would look into credit cards that will help you build your credit. You can get some with a security deposit and possibly fees. Also utility bills can be added to boost your credit. Again, be careful so you don’t set yourself back in the process.

I hope this helps. It is just meant as a basic guideline to point you in the right direction. Let me know if you have any tips as well. I love hearing from everyone.