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DEVELOP AND MAINTAIN A GOOD CREDIT RATING

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A good credit rating is essential for a number of areas that affect your financial health, including
these:
▪ Securing home loans, auto loans, and other types of loans.
▪ Getting the most favorable interest rate, which will save you hundreds of thousands of
dollars in your lifetime.
▪ Renting an apartment; landlords look at this for the ability to pay.
▪ Getting a job; employers use the rating to see if you will be a reliable employee.
Getting a good credit rating is simple. Pay your bills on time, all the time. This includes mortgage,
rent, utilities, service bills, and, of course, credit cards. Believe it or not, even one late payment can
affect your credit rating. Your payment history is the major component in developing your credit
rating.
Don’t apply for multiple credit cards. Applications for credit cards often are listed on credit reports
as “inquiries.” Too many “inquiries” will cause lenders to believe that you are taking on too much
debt and thus are a high risk for nonpayment. Having many credit cards with multiple balances shows
credit companies you are bad at managing your money. Thus, it will be difficult to get future credit.
You’ve heard the expression “I’ve maxed out on my credit card.” Definitely don’t do this. Lenders
look unfavorably on people who use most of the available credit on their credit cards. To be safe, you
should try to use up to only 35 percent of your available credit.
It’s time now for me to get on my soapbox regarding the relationship between good credit and
character. Having a good credit rating is not only a financial imperative but also a moral one. It
reflects on your personal character. It boggles my mind how people can turn their backs on bills they
personally owe. These people clearly show a lack of character.
Have you ever lent money to a friend who hasn’t paid you back? How did you feel? What did you
think of that friend? What if not paying you back meant you couldn’t pay your bills? How would you
feel then?
Personally, if I didn’t pay my bills, it would be difficult to look at myself in the mirror. Unfortunately,
many debtors can look at themselves in the mirror, and not paying their bills becomes their way of
life. Ultimately, it catches up with them and hurts them both socially and financially.
Remember, your credit rating is built over time. Once you have a negative rating, it will take time to
change it. If you pay your bills on time, every time, from the start, you will reap the rewards in the
future.

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