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Building credit and maintaining a good credit history are key steps towards building your financial future. At first, credit may seem frustrating — you can't get credit because you’ve never had credit. But there are actions you can take to start establishing a strong credit history.
If you've always paid with cash or checks to make purchases and haven't used credit, it's a good idea to start. And if you’ve had credit problems in the past, it’s important to re-establish your credit history for a few key reasons:
A credit card may be a good way to start building credit. You can use your credit card to make purchases, and they are very convenient. One way to start a credit history is to have one or two department store or gas station cards. They allow you to:
Once you start using credit, it’s essential to manage it properly. So use your credit card to make purchases, but don’t go over your credit limit or let your balance owed get too high to manage. Pay at least the minimum payment due each month, or more if you can, and make sure you pay on time. The best way to reduce the interest owed on a credit card is to pay off the balance as quickly as possible. Otherwise, it can take many years to pay off even a small credit card balance if you only make minimum payments. If you follow these tips, you can build a strong credit history that will help you meet your financial goals.
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