Credit is A Good Thing

Contrary to popular belief- credit is a good thing. It's the abuse of credit that is a problem. It's important to know lenders use your credit history to decide on the risk of loaning you money and what interest rates to charge. Landlords determine if you'll pay your rent on time and many employers are using credit reports to screen job applicants.

Now that we're well into the New Year, how are you feeling about your resolutions and goals to pay off debt and increase your credit score? Didn't make any? Well, It's not too late. Here are a few tips to get you started:

1) Schedule a "Mind Your Own Business Day". As a matter of fact, make it a standing monthly appointment just as you do with getting your hair and nails done. Pull out your calendar and schedule two or three uninterrupted hours to do a financial reality check. Start by listing all loan balances, credit limits, monthly payments, and interest rates. Visit www.quicken.com for loan calculators to determine timeline for debt payoff at minimum payments. You may be startled to see how long it will take to pay off an account if you don't increase payments.

2) Order you credit report. Free reports are available, by law, once per year at www.annualcreditreport.com You can also order by phone at (877) 322-8228, or by mail at:

Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA. 30348-5281

3) Fix the errors. According to a 2004 survey by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group 25% of credit reports have errors serious enough to be turned down for a loan or a job. The last several pages of your credit report states how to dispute inaccuracies by phone, online, or in writing.

These steps should be taken whether your credit is joint or individual. But it is critical for all women to establish some sort of credit in her own name in today's society. This protects your credit identity and history in the event you were to become separated, divorced or widowed. By following the initial steps above you will in time improve your credit, boost your credit score and achieve your goals and dreams.

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