Obtaining and maintaining a good credit history is very important for any consumers present and future financial condition. But how does someone go about doing this?
To some peoples surprise, establishing credit is relatively simple. If you are earning a stable income and have lived in the same residence for at least the past year, there are many ways to establish credit. One way is to apply for a credit card with a local gas station or department store, both of whom have lower credit standards than other larger businesses and lenders. This allows you to obtain a credit card that will limit your spending to only gas or the items that you can find in that particular department store. Usually, the balances you accumulate on these kinds of cards will not exceed what you can bear.
Another way to build credit is to take out a small loan from your local bank or credit union. Even though you may not have any real need to take out a loan, and though you might not want to pay the interest expenses, it will be a relatively simple way for you to build credit, so long as you make your payments on time.
It should be noted that before you apply for credit through any company, be sure that the creditor or lender actually reports credit history information to a credit bureau so that all of your dealings with the institution will aid your credit history.
Once you have found a way to begin building your credit, make sure that you pay your bills on time. Recurring late payments and unpaid bills are frowned upon by all creditors, and will negatively affect your credit score.
However, if you do encounter a situation that makes it impossible to avoid late payments, contact your creditor immediately. Most creditors are willing to negotiate an adjustment to your payment schedule to accommodate whatever difficulties you are experiencing.