In my previous article “Establishing Credit – What You Need To Know Part 1“ I discussed the need for a good credit history and what lenders were looking for prior to loaning an individual money or additional funds based on their credit history. This article will go into the necessary steps someone needs to take in order to initially establish their credit history.
The first and easiest step is to show any potential lenders that you actually know how to handle money. This can be easily achieved by opening either a savings or checking account (opening both would be better) in your name. As you successfully use these accounts you will prove to a lender that you can handle money and are ready for the increased responsibility that comes with having additional credit.
Another means of establishing credit actually involves borrowing funds and then paying them back over time without any late payments. Although this method to establishing a good credit history is quicker and very effective when compared to the long drawn out procedure of making withdraws and transfers to your savings/checking account it comes with the drawback of the cost associated with obtaining the loan in the first place. If you’re having trouble obtaining a loan but still wish to use this method to establish your credit history then seek out a friend or relative with known good credit and have them cosign on a loan for you. Remember this is asking a lot from that individual so please don’t abuse the trust they put into your ability to repay the loan on time and without problems.
Other popular methods of establishing credit include applying for credit cards or department store cards. Again, although this method is very effective for establishing credit (provided you make your payments on time) it could be costly if you start to carry a balance on these cards. Always check to see that there is no annual fee and make sure you are aware of the financial charges imposed against you if you should decide to carry a balance on any card you have. Obviously the best plan is to always pay your balance off in full each and every month. This allows you to build your credit history and avoid being buried under a mountain of high interest debt.
A word of caution – identity theft and credit theft is a very real and dangerous problem in today’s society so you want to make sure you do everything you can to protect your newly established credit history. Always make sure to secure your credit cards and never let anyone obtain your personal identification number (PIN). If you have numerous credit cards avoid carrying them all at once. Instead just carry the card you normally use and file the rest away in a safe place. Always make sure to keep information such as contact numbers and account numbers of the cards you have been issued. This will help you if you ever lose or have a card stolen.
If you find that you have lost a card or had it stolen simply contact the company that issued the card and report your situation. If the card hasn’t been used prior to your reporting it lost or stolen then you’re relieved of any future financial liabilities against the card. If it has been used prior to your reporting then you may be held accountable for up to $50. Finally, always be cautious about who you give your account number to and remember to keep all receipts and records that are associated with that particular card.
Establishing a good credit history isn’t that difficult if you start small and work your way up. It will take some time but if you do it right it will definitely pay off in the future and allow you the opportunity to obtain credit for the items you really want to purchase or may really need.
Timothy Gorman is a successful Webmaster and publisher of Debt-Relief-Solutions.com He provides more debt relief, consolidation and free credit counseling information that you can research in your pajamas on his website.