I have excellent credit.  I say it proudly because it is from a lifetime of being a financially responsible person.  Of course, I don’t have a big flat screen TV, in fact, I don’t even own a flat screen TV at all, and I don’t have many of the material things that my neighbors have, but I also don’t have a single dollar of debt.  In the end, I feel better watching my 1998 cathode ray tube TV knowing I don’t have the bill collector calling. 

But despite the fact I have never been late on a bill in my life – yes, I brag, but it is true, my credit report has fluctuated because I opened and close credit cards without regard to how it affected my credit.

I used to be a hassle to monitor your credit, but there are now services where you can get a free credit score, so you can track and manage your credit behavior.  If you are buying a house soon, it is critical to get your credit in shape beforehand.  The first step is getting a credit report and reviewing for errors and examining what activities are negatively impacting your score.

Consult with a knowledgeable credit expert and do your research before you cancel credit cards though, because having a credit card open for a long time, even if you have no balance, shows responsibility, so don’t have a knee-jerk reaction and close your inactive cards automatically.

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