|What is credit?||
Credit is when you buy something and agree to pay for it on installments (over a set period of time). You can do this by purchasing something from a store or by using a credit card. Remember, "credit" does not mean "free."
|How do I know if I should apply for a credit card?||
|How do I choose a credit card company?||
|How do I get a good credit rating?||
A credit rating or "credit worthiness" measures your ability to repay a debt. This can be established by a past record of completing payments or by showing a regular salary or other source of income. You can also get a good credit rating by maintaining a savings account, showing uninterrupted employment and using and paying credit cards on time.
|How do I know what my credit rating is?||
You can ask businesses that furnish consumer credit reports to tell you what information they have on you. The consumer-reporting agency may charge a fee for providing you with a credit report. The three main reporting agencies are Experian (888-397-3742), TransUnion (808-888-4213), and Equifax (808-585-1111).
|How long does it take to clear up a bad credit report?|
It depends on the seriousness of the past problems and the amount and purpose for the new loan. Generally, credit-reporting agencies want references on loans and employment for the last 7 years. A past bad credit rating can sometimes be avoided if the collateral for the present loan is sufficient.
|What if my credit card is lost or stolen?||