Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Credit Basics and other Credit Report topics.
If you have credit cards, even just one credit account, you need to pay attention to the big picture. It takes very little time to damage your credit score and much longer than that to fix it. Making your payments on time and keeping your balances low is only one piece of the puzzle.
In order to put the whole picture together you need to be aware of everything that goes on under your name and your social security number. Identity theft and credit card fraud are more common today than ever. The first year you obtain your very first credit account, you should be requesting regular credit reports, too.
If you start off on the right foot it is much easier to stay in good shape. Ignorance is not bliss, and if you do not pay attention and start off right, you will spend many hours to undo the damage. With the ease of use and ability to get an instant credit report online, anyone with credit accounts should be doing so. No one else is going to protect your score; it's all up to you.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|