Marino on Money: June 17

This week, we are talking about repairing your credit once it's been damaged. The first step is to obtain your free report from annualcreditreport.com. This is important. Your credit score effects many areas of your life, including interest rates and insurance rates. One or two errors may cost you a significant amount of money. Who knows, you may have been paying higher rates for some time just because there are errors on your report. As always, this is about you, so you need to take control of the situation. Get a copy of your report and make sure it's accurate. Many employers run a credit report before they hire someone. Poor credit may signal irresponsibility. Sometimes life happens, and people end up in a financial crisis that results in poor credit. But other times it's not about life, it's about the person. I spent many years helping people budget and plan. In my experience, almost everyone I worked with who had poor credit brought it on themselves. It was pattern of poor decisions. Some employers have a similar perspective, and as a result, bad credit may hurt your ability to get a job. Poor credit will also hurt your ability to buy a home. You may not get approved or end up paying a much higher interest rate. And, landlords may become hesitant if you want to rent from them. The decisions I made yesterday determine my options today. The decisions I make today will determine the options I have tomorrow. If you want to improve your credit so you have more options in the future, now is the time to start. Tomorrow I'll discuss specific strategies to help you improve your credit.

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