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Good credit plays an important role in your financial life. Not only is it essential for obvious things like qualifying for a loan or getting a credit card, but also for less obvious things like getting cellular telephone service, renting a car, and perhaps even getting a job. Click here to download the Importance of Credit History and Successful Savings Packet or read below.

What is a credit report and score?
Why is saving so important to good credit?
How do I start saving?
Why is good credit management so important?
5 tips for building good credit
Is credit repair a good idea?
What is loan consolidation?
What is a debt management plan?
Where can I get help with debts I can’t afford to pay?
FDIC model safe accounts template
Frequently asked credit questions
Additional resources

WHAT IS A CREDIT REPORT AND SCORE?

A credit score is a three-digit number that measures how likely you are to repay a loan on time. It uses information from your credit report to predict the risk of you not paying that loan back 24 months after scoring.

A credit report is an explanation of your credit history. It states when and where you applied for credit, whom you borrowed money from, and whom you still owe. Your credit report also tells you if you’ve paid off a debt and if you make monthly payments on time.

How can I get a copy of my credit report and score?

The three nationwide consumer reporting companies- Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are required by The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to provide you, at your request, with a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months. (Available at www.annualcreditreport.com)

How much does it cost?

You will have to pay around $14 to receive an addition credit report within 12 month of when you received your free report. To receive a copy of your credit score, you will have to pay one of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies around $14.

Who do I get help from if I find something wrong?

You are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report. There are two things you should do if you find an inaccuracy. First, tell the consumer reporting company (where you got the report from), in writing, what information you think is inaccurate. Consumer reporting companies are required to investigate anything in question and must forward all relevant data to the organization that provided the information. Second, tell the creditor or other information provider in writing that you dispute an item.

Who has access to my credit score?

The FCRA specifies who can access your credit report. Those who have access to your credit report include creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses that use the information in your report to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, em­ployment, or renting a home.

WHY IS SAVING SO IMPORTANT TO CREDIT?

It is important for all Americans to have savings. Having a savings account allows people to pay for emergencies, gives people financial freedom, and can contribute to a higher credit score. A high credit score can make it easier to rent an apartment, get utility services, and even get a job.

Paying for Emergencies

Having a savings account allows people to pay for emergencies on their own instead of turning to high-interest credit cards or payday loans. Not being able to pay off these types of loans can severely affect your credit score.

Higher Credit Score

Having savings allows you to pay your bills on time. Paying your bills on time can lead to a higher credit score.

HOW DO I START SAVING?

When it comes to saving money, the sooner you start the better. It’s not an act that’s accomplished overnight, but a process that happens gradually and grows over time. Just remember, slow and steady wins the race.

Making ends meet can be a challenge. And you may wonder how it’s possible to spare anything. But any amount saved – a quarter, a dollar – is progress. Those quarters and dollars add up. As you get into the habit of routinely “paying into your savings” you’ll see the money you’re setting aside grow.

The first thing you have to do to start saving is take a look at your finances and make sure that you are spending less than you earn.

· Make a budget

· Find ways to cut back on spending

· Set up automatic savings

WHY IS GOOD CREDIT MANAGEMENT SO IMPORTANT?

Good credit plays an important role in your financial life. Not only is it essential for obvious things like qualifying for a loan or getting a credit card, but also for less obvious things like getting cellular telephone service, renting a car, and perhaps even getting a job.

Managing your credit will also help you save for a rainy day. A strong credit history, reflected in good credit scores, will let you qualify for lower interest rates and fees, freeing up additional money to set aside for emergencies, retirement, and other smaller unexpected expenses. Decreasing debt and increasing savings reduces stress and leads to greater financial freedom.

The good news is that having good credit is not difficult. Simply follow these five fundamentals of good credit management and you will build and maintain a credit history that will enable you to get the credit you need, when you need it.