Yesterday, Marino on Money discussed how a bad credit score can negatively impact your life. Today, Ross tells us how to improve our score, and keep it high. This week we are discussing ways to improve your credit. Here is a quick review, plus a few more tips. You may request a free report from annualcreditreport.com. This is the site that offers the reports for free. The site is managed by the three main credit agencies. There's no gimmick, and they don't have a catchy jingle. Poor credit, as the result of identity theft, will impact your life in many ways. The best defense against identity theft is a good offense. Here is what you can do. Use only one credit card to establish credit, and always pay it off on time. Being late on payments is expensive and it will hurt your credit. Only apply for credit cards that you need. Some retailers will offer you a discount if you apply for their credit card, but the discounts are not worth it if it ends up hurting your credit. Having multiple credit cards can actually lower your credit score. When you check your credit report, you may see some credit cards on your report that you haven't used for years. If you don't need them, call that company and cancel the card. Buy a shredder and shred anything with personal information. Check your mail daily so your bank statements aren't sitting in your mailbox for a few days. If you access your bank or credit card accounts online, review at least once per week. Never give out personal information by email. Remember, when is doubt, X it out. Meaning, click the red X in the top right corner of your computer screen and close the window. If something doesn't feel right, there may be good reason. Just get away from that site and report it immediately to whatever company has that account.
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