Establish Credit

Establish good credit

Your financial security depends on a good credit history. If you don't have credit yet, establish a financial presence and be responsible with your money. The first step is opening a bank account.

1. Don't charge more than you can afford. Open a Checking Account. Shop around for a free or low-cost account. Make sure you understand the bank's charges and fees. If you can afford it, also open a savings account.

2. Keep Your Banking Information Safe. Safeguard your automated teller machine (ATM) card and your personal identification number (PIN). No one else should know your PIN or have access to your ATM card.

3. Make Regular Deposits. Don't let your balance go below the minimum. Contact your bank immediately if there are any account-related problems or if you see a mistake on your bank statement.

4. Record All Transactions. Record every check, deposit and withdrawal in your checkbook register. Compare the register to your bank statement.

5. Don't Bounce Checks. Don't write a check unless the money is in your account. If you abuse your privileges at one bank, you could be denied access to other banks.

6. Apply for a Credit Card. Ask your bank about opening a credit account. Carefully review the credit terms. Beware of "low introductory rates" because they're only low for a short time. Make sure the bank will report your performance to a credit bureau so you can begin to build a credit history.

7. Pay Your Bills on Time. Don't charge more than you can afford. Try to pay off the balance every month. If you must use more than one credit card, keep both cards well below their limits.


 

 

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