Checking your credit reports is key

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Checking your credit reports is key

Your credit history influences your future ability to borrow and make purchases.

Here's the best advice for anyone trying to build and keep a good credit report:

* Pay your bills on time.

* Have a variety of credit -- a mix of credit cards, installment loans and lines of credit.

* Don't have too many outstanding loans.

* Pay off your debts regularly -- but not too quickly.

* Perform regular credit montoring -- examine your credit report at least annually and know your credit score.

Credit monitoring agencies are doing just that: monitoring your credit. Each charge on your credt card, every loan payment and every big purchase is collected and influences your credit score. Credit monitoring affects your ability to make future purchases, such as buying a home. Think about the impact on your credit report every time you buy an item, or when you make (or put off) a monthly payment.

* Apply for new accounts in moderation



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