Understanding Your Credit Report

by Laura Ellis on December 7, 2010

STATE OF AFFAIRS 12/07/10:  We all know we’re supposed to keep an eye on our credit report to make sure we don’t let our debts mark us as unsuitable to borrow, and to be on the lookout for identity theft and suspicious activity. But did your last glance at yours leave you scratching your head? Maybe you’ve wondered what’s the difference between the report and the score, who is allowed to access your information, and for what purpose. We’ll talk about understanding your credit report and credit score Tuesday on State of Affairs.

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Carrie VanWinkle December 7, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Wonderful topic! I had some concerns about the recommendation to get a store credit card.

Be wary – these may be more trouble than they are worth – and end up hurting your credit if payments are not paid on time.

Store cards typcially have some of the highest interest rates. During Christmas time, families are most tempted to put gifts on credit – leaving them with this burden of debt after the holdiays.

If having the card means you’ve accumulated more debt – and may not be able to pay off quickly – this isn’t the best idea.

Instead, find a bank or credit union that offers a ‘secured credit card’. This can be the best way to build a good credit history – while using the card to pay regular expenses like groceries and gas – without the burden of a big debt to a department store.

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