Why is having good credit so important? Since today’s society is so financially-driven, establishing and maintaining good credit is imperative if you want to be able to do any of the following:

1. Apply for a job
2. Rent an apartment or buy a home
3. Open an account at a bank
4. Set up an account with the utilities or telephone company

It used to be that having good credit was important in order to simply buy a home or car, but not anymore. Even applying for a new job can require that you have good, stable credit.

Having bad credit could hinder your ability to live in the world. It is a proven fact that people have been turned down for well-paying job positions because of a poor credit rating even though the job could have helped them turn their credit situation around.

So what do I do?

Start by writing a request for your credit report. According to Federal Law, you are allowed one free credit report annually. There are three major credit-reporting agencies that you need to get a report from, and you can get their contact information on the Internet or from your local phone book. If you have already received a free credit report for the year, you can also use a letter of credit denial by submitting a copy of that letter within 60 days of its receipt along with your written request. Be sure to include a copy of your state issued ID (such as a driver’s license), proof of your address and your previous addresses for the past 5 years. Also, make sure to include a copy of your social security card.

What good is having good credit?

Everyone’s credit report is public information, available to anyone that has a legitimate reason to view it. Whenever you apply for employment, an apartment rental, or want to make a big purchase, you are asking for credit, which allows the creditor to view your credit report. Although your credit report does not reveal your personality, it is very revealing of your spending habits, and how responsibly you pay off your debts.

Businesses look into your credit report and determine your history of payments your potential ability to follow through on your promises. They infer whether you are stable and if you follow through on payments. If you do, then you are most likely a good credit risk.

The good person with bad credit?

You may be a good person, you might be considerate and compassionate and generous. But that does not mean you are responsible with your money. If your credit report shows a history of late or missed payments, you run the risk of not getting credit lines for those times that you might need them. When the time comes for you to repair your credit, be prepared to deal with a lot of paperwork and phone time.

How can I protect my reputation?

It is probably the right time for you to fix your credit. You might think you can’t afford it, but that’s ok; you have an opportunity to turn your credit rating around. Once you receive your credit report(s), contact the creditors listed and make payment arrangements, even if it is just a very low monthly amount. Doing this shows your willingness to get back on track, and shows your willingness to take responsibility.

Where can I turn?

There are many resources available to assist with credit repair. Consult your local library or the Internet. Many credit repair agencies offer free services; don’t hesitate to take advantage of their offers. Rebuilding your credit is more than just being able to make a big purchase, it also means you are establishing the reputation of financial responsibility, and the ability to make your way in the world.