Credit: Starting things off right!

JP: A good read from boundless.org (Boundless is a webzine for singles (from Focus on the Family))

Setting an All-Time Credit Record

Excerpts:

While most future-minded college students do a good job of looking after their academic record, they ignore another kind of record that’s even more powerful: their credit record. Your credit record is your financial reputation. It counts big in this world.

If you want to rent an apartment, buy a house, get a phone hooked up, obtain a credit card, take out a loan, buy a blimp or start a business, you need a good credit record. A company that wants to check your credit can call other companies that have done money deals with you in the past, or they can get a report from a credit reporting bureau. Credit bureaus are private institutions that sell credit information to other businesses. In the U.S. there are many, many small bureaus and three big ones: Experian, Equifax and Trans Union. Creditors, landlords and employers pay these bureaus for reports on people they’re considering as customers, tenants or employees, to determine their financial character.

Both your academic record and your credit record determine which doors will be open to you in the future. But the former loses most of its power the moment you decide to end your academic career; the latter will either lock or unlock the doors in your path for the rest of your life. True, the marks in your record are removed when they’re several years old, but that’s a long time to wait to see a spotty past fade away. And it may take even longer to break the bad money habits that soiled your reputation.

It’s much easier to start things off right. Apply only for the credit you really need, and make every payment on time with no exception. When the time comes for you to buy a home or start a business, your record will precede you, the doors will open up ahead.

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