How do I build my credit?
A good place to start is to first review your credit report. One way to do this is to pull a copy of all three of your credit reports on www.AnnualCreditReport.com. This site is free of charge, and you can access a copy of your credit reports from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax once a year. It’s a good idea to review for any inaccuracies, and to see if there is anything reported that you may be unsure of. The first way to build credit is to obtain credit. A secured credit card is a great tool for people with a limited credit history. Many credit unions offer these cards to applicants with no credit or bad credit. A secured card is backed by a deposit from the applicant, which the credit limit is usually the same amount of the deposit. The minimum deposit varies by bank but is generally at least $300. These cards work similarly to a debit card, but the information is reported each month to the credit bureaus. The best way to utilize these cards is to use them for smaller monthly expenses and pay them off each month when the statement comes. It is important to make your payments on time each month, as payment history accounts for 35% of your credit score. Credit utilization is also a major portion of your credit score. Keeping your balances at 30% or less than your total credit limit helps your score. And avoid applying for unnecessary credit cards since this results in a hard inquiry on your credit and can bring your score down two or more points each time.
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