How do you know if you have a? P If you pay by cash or debt card and dont own a credit card; or never had an installment loan, such as mortgage, auto or student loan; you probably dont have a credit report. P If you havent used credit, there wont be any credit information on you. PP You could also contact
to get your credit report free from the three credit reporting agencies Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. It is great to have no debt and pay as you go, but is it? P When you need credit for a purchase for which you cant pay in cash, such as a mortgage or card loan, you wont be able to qualify for the loan. P Lenders base your ability to pay on your payment history in the both the present and the past. P If you dont have any credit history there is no basis to make a decision on the loan. P You would probably have to get someone to co-sign for the loan and they would be responsible, if you cant make the payments. P In addition without credit, you wont be able to get the lower interest rates, which will cost you more for the loan. There are many other companies that review your credit report to make business decisions: insurance companies, utility companies, cell phone companies, apartment complexes and employers.
You may have to pay a higher deposit for utilities or apartment without credit. P Most car rental companies and hotels require a credit card to make a reservation. If you dont have a credit report, you wont have a credit score. P Credit scores use credit data to generate a score. PP Credit card companies, mortgage and auto lenders use credit scores to determine the interest rate to charge you. If you dont have credit, it is best to start with a credit card. P There are several choices secured, authorized user and retail card. PP Secured card requires a savings account which is usually the credit limit for the account. This is usually a small amount such as up to $500. As an authorized user you can use the card, but not responsible for paying. P A parent usually includes their child as an authorized user. P Retail cards are usually easier to get because you are limited to the places it can be used, credit limit is lower and interest is higher. Having credit, shouldnt be a bad thing, unless you abuse it. P You dont charge more than you can pay, dont get a loan for more than you can afford, dont get behind in payments andPP pay bills in full each month.
P It is best to build credit; so that you have credit established when you really need it for an auto loan or mortgage. Credit Expert, is the President of Consumer Education at, the credit blogger for, and a Contributor for the. P He is an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring and identity theft. Formerly of FICO, Equifax and Credit. com, John is the only recognized credit expert who actually comes from the credit industry. P Follow him on. When I speak to people about credit reports and credit scores one of the things I always do is ask the audience members to raise their hands if theyвve requested their free annual credit report. Sadly, on a good night only about half the people in the audience raise their hands. A new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) confirmed my simple surveys. Far too few people request their reports each year. At a minimum you should check your credit report at least once every 12 months. There are a lot of reasons to get it, and here are five: Itвs free. Never pass up a freebie, especially when it can affects your financial health and well-being. Your credit report plays an important part in your credit transactions and many other financial relationships.
В Itвs an important step in rebuilding and maintaining good credit. Reviewing your credit report periodically will help you make sure it is in good shape when you are ready to apply for new credit and enable you to monitor your progress if you are. Photo: Itвs an important part of managing your personal finances. You should just like you do your bank statements and credit card bills. Managing credit, keeping track of spending and putting aside savings are all essential to being financially successful. Itвs often the first indicator that you are an identity theft victim. If you find names you donвt recognize, Social Security numbers that donвt belong to you, or accounts that arenвt yours, you might be a fraud victim. Experian and the other national credit reporting companies can and prevent future misuse of your identity. Itвs the first step in correcting any information you feel is inaccurate. The vast majority of the time people find everything is accurate. But if you do find something wrong, your personal credit report comes with and contact information including a toll-free telephone number, Internet address and mailing address.