3 Ways to Build a Good Credit History
By Danielle Buffardi

Whether you’re new to the credit game or a seasoned pro, these three steps will help you get a leg up on building your credit score.

Tip #1: Only charge what you can afford: This is sort of a no-brainer for most of us, but there’s always that temptation to purchase new living room furniture even though yours is only a year old. Hold strong and decide if you really need your purchases. Can your child live without one more toy for their birthday? The answer is mostly likely yes, yes they can. Charging only what you can afford will show the credit card companies you’re a responsible spender and in turn may help them with their decision to raise your credit limit for instances when you really need the extra spending room.

Tip #2: Carry a balance and make your payments on time: Always pay a little more than your minimum payment and try to carry a respectful balance amount. This doesn’t mean you pay the $10 minimum on a $4,000 balance, this means you pay a decent amount of your bill so long as it satisfies the minimum balance requirement for that month. Be sure to carry a balance over to the next month so that the credit card companies can report that you’re paying your minimum monthly balance on time.

Tip #3: Be sure to check over your credit card statements each month: Again, this may be a no-brainer for most of us, but there are those that barely skim their bill each month, let alone sit down and take the time to analyze it. Looking over your credit card bill each month can alert you to any potential dangers involving credit card and identity theft, fraudulent charges, or unfair charges applied by the credit card company. Analyzing your bill will also allow you to track your spending habits and adjust them if you deem necessary. Also, finding hidden charges on your bill can pay off big time in getting them removed if you find them early enough. You’ll have ground to stand on if you catch any hidden or fraudulent charges early and state your case on getting them removed.

It’s no secret that building secure credit history takes time, and these three steps can help you be on your way. Lenders like to see solid credit histories and credit scores and it’s your job to deliver that to them if you want to lock in low APR rates on future purchases. Request copies of your credit report from the three major reporting bureaus and spend some time looking them over. If you find anything fishy, don’t be afraid to question it and take the appropriate steps in getting them removed. A solid credit history is your key to opening money saving doors in the future.

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