Maintaining a good credit history is essential to your ability to purchase a home, get a car loan, borrow money for other purchases, take out insurance, rent an apartment, even get a job. For all these reasons, it is very important to monitor your credit history on a regular basis. Everyone is entitled to receive a free copy of their credit report each year from the 3 main credit reporting agencies: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. You can get your free copies at: www.annualcreditreport.com.
Review the report from each of the reporting agencies (they can differ). Do this every year even if you are not in the market for new credit. It can help guard against identity theft and also help you prepare for the day you do need to take out a mortgage, refinance, buy a car, etc. Review the reports for accuracy. If you spot any mistakes – wrong names, addresses, credit cards you have closed, late payments you made on time, etc. – take steps to repair and correct the information. Each reporting agency has procedures for correcting mistakes. Fixing mistakes can take time, so be sure to review your credit reports annually.
The most important thing people can do to maintain a good credit history is pay their bills on time. Other things that can negatively impact your credit are the number and dollar amount of credit cards or other open credit lines, the amount of your available credit that is being accessed (it should be less than 50 percent), the total amount you owe your creditors, liens, paycheck garnishments, too many credit inquiries, and bankruptcy.
Your credit history follows you everywhere you go. Take steps now to review your history, fix any mistakes and start to improve your credit history.