For almost every consumer a good credit rating will help you on your path to prosperity. In fact, without a good credit you will be hard pressed to qualify for a car loan, a home mortgage, a credit card, or even open a checking account. At a minimum your loan rates will be much higher if your credit is bad – up to 5% higher in many cases.
OK, I get the idea but how do I get a good credit score? Here are a few key steps that will help you get and maintain good credit.
- Have a budget and stick to it – live within your means.
- Choose and use credit cards wisely. Pick the right card by thinking about how you will use it and reading the terms and conditions before applying. The information is available online, making it easy to come to informed decisions.
- Pay the full credit card bill each month, if at all possible. If not, pay more than the minimum payment or you will likely be in debt forever.
- Pay all your bills on time. Always.
- If you can’t pay your bills on time tell your creditors what is going on, don’t hide from them and come up with a plan to get back on track (like a budget).
By observing these simple rules of the road you will greatly improve your chances of building and maintaining a good credit history and a good credit score. And those two items will smooth your path to prosperity!