American Consumer Credit Counseling Explains How to Build Credit

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National non-profit American Consumer Credit Counseling offers consumers tips on how to build credit to achieve a financially stable future

Not having a credit history or even worse, having a poor credit history – can make it extremely difficult to do many of the things necessary for a strong financial future, such as get a credit card, secure a loan or even just rent an apartment.

Building and having good credit allows consumers to achieve a stable and successful financial future. Having bad credit can make consumers look irresponsible and affect their ability to take out a loan, buy a house or even get a job. To help with this process, American Consumer Credit Counseling offers consumers tips on how to build credit.

“Often times consumers are unaware of the importance of building good credit,” said Steve Trumble, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “Not having a credit history or even worse, having a poor credit history – can make it extremely difficult to do many of the things necessary for a strong financial future, such as get a credit card, secure a loan or even just rent an apartment.”

Having good credit is extremely important when securing big financial purchases, such as a car or a house. Credit scores can range from 300 to 850. According to Experian’s most recent list, the average credit score in the United States is 687. Massachusetts’ consumers have the sixth highest credit scores in the United States, with an average score of 710 – coming in behind Minnesota (718), North Dakota (715), South Dakota (712), Vermont (712) and New Hampshire (711).

American Consumer Credit Counseling offers consumers tips on how to build credit:

1.    Get a credit card – Establishing a solid credit history is important. Use the credit card to make small purchases and be sure to make payments on or before the due date to build good credit. If a regular credit card is unattainable, then try to open a secured credit card. Many times after a year or more with a positive usage history, the credit card company will send you an unsecured card.

2.    Make payments on time - Making payments on time is not only important with credit cards, but with bills and loans as well.

3.    Avoid credit card debt – It is highly recommended that consumers pay each credit card balance in full every month to avoid falling behind.

4.    Limit the number of open accounts – Apply for and open new credit card accounts only when it is truly necessary. Having too many opened accounts can increase your chances of debt, and may illustrate a reliance on credit to potential lenders. This too can decrease your credit score.

5.    Check credit reports – Be sure to check your credit report every year for any errors or discrepancies.

ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:

  •     For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
  •     For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
  •     For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
  •     Or visit us online at ConsumerCredit.com

About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management and debt relief through education, credit counseling, and debt management solutions. In order to help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loans, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit TalkingCentsBlog.com.

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Marissa Sullivan
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