good credit is a great idea, and you'll need it all your life.
Start out the right way. Here's how:
Pay on time.
Pay as much as you can, and always pay more than the
Don't get cash advances with a credit card. Interest is
added immediately when you borrow this money.
If you can't pay your bill, call the credit card company
as soon as you can. They usually will work with you to get
the bill paid off without hurting your credit rating.
Keep your credit cards as safe as you would cash.
Don't loan your credit card to anyone, not even your
best friend. You are liable for all charges, although some
cards make you pay only the first $50 of unauthorized expenditures.
If you lose your card, call the company that issued it
and report it immediately (be sure you keep a statement,
so you have the number to call handy).
Don't ever give out your credit card number over the phone
or the Internet, unless you initiated the call or visited
a site to purchase something over a secure network.
When you pay for something with your card, watch as the
person who takes it processes the transaction. Lately thieves
have been swiping cards to copy the numbers and your name,
and then using your information to make fraudulent purchases.
Review your credit report every year. What's a credit
report? A credit report shows how much debt you have now
and how much you've had in the past. It shows whether you
have made payments on time. And it documents any loans you
have not paid back at all. Why review it? Because like everybody,
credit-reporting agencies make mistakesmistakes that
could affect your ability to get loans.
To get a copy of your credit report, contact one of the following
credit reporting organizations (most charge a small fee):