Rough economic times are best weathered with a good credit rating, but the thing about credit ratings is that they take time to come into their own — for good, or for bad. To possess a good credit score, you must dedicate years to sensible personal fiscal behavior.
An example of such behavior is not opening credit accounts willy-nilly. It seems every time you purchase a magazine, some iron nails to fix the garden trellis, or a new briefcase for work, the person at the cash register is always attempting to cajole you into signing up for a store charge account. These offers will only be beneficial to you if you plan on using the proffered credit regularly. If that’s not your plan, skip the offer. All open accounts, no matter how dormant they are, appear on your credit report. Having too many open accounts can make the circumstances ripe for a dreadful credit overextension. Also, not using an account regularly increases the chances of your forgetting to make its payments on time, which will most surely produce an unfavorable rating.
Be prepared for the really tough times and start becoming more watchful of your credit use now. Online, it’s easy to request a free credit score and report; use it to understand the progress you’ve made, and to help you devise your next moves. It always pays to be mindful.