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credit guide

How to get credit.

It used to be almost impossible to get a good credit rating if you were just starting out – you couldn't get credit, because you didn't have credit, and without credit, you can't generate a credit rating of any kind. The good news is that it's gotten easier to get credit, and, in turn, a good credit rating. We're here to dispel the myths about credit and give you the low-down on your own credit history and tips on how to develop good credit.

Remember, the player with the most credit cards isn't necessarily the one who wins, which is why we're here to make sure you don't blow your credit rating. Credit cards are convenient, great to have around in a pinch and handier than a checkbook. There are even some things, like renting a car that you just can't do without one.

How does your credit rating develop?

Basically, if you owned credit cards in the past – and actually used them, you have a credit history. And the banks, credit card companies and other financial institutions know your financial secrets. If you played by the rules and actually paid your credit card bills, then you've probably got a good credit rating, maintaining it can be a little more complicated.

Know the Difference between Cards!

There are a lot of varieties and brands of cards floating through the mail these days from the Platinum to the Gold.

What do you do if you are branded a credit risk?

Sometimes you just get stuck, financially. You've been branded a credit risk despite your best efforts. However, like it or not, there are simply moments when you can't live without that pesky piece of plastic. We can show you what you need to do to land an alternatve card.

Learn the most effective Use for Credit Cards

Deal yourself a better hand

One of the best ways to use a credit card is for loan consolidation. That means adding up your debts and figuring out how much interest you're paying on average for card A, card B and card C, combined with the interest on your auto loans and on whatever else you might owe. For example, department store credit cards have some of the highest interest rates out there. You could be paying more than 20% interest on your debt. You'll just want to learn what steps to take so you pay less interest and pay off more debt.

Decipher Credit Card Lingo.

Transform yourself into an informed user

Millions of credit card carriers are clueless about what's on their credit card statements. Additionally, credit card terms and conditions are almost impossible to understand. Such as, what is the difference between an annual percentage rate and a daily percentage rate, are you being charged twice?