Understanding and Improving Your Credit

Maintaining good credit is one of the most important factors in qualifying for a mortgage loan and in obtaining a favorable interest rate. For an explanation of your credit score and an overview of how it is calculated, visit:
http://www.homeloanlearningcenter.com/YourFinances/CreditScore.htm

Reviewing a credit report for the first time can be confusing. To navigate through a sample credit report, visit:
http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/english/resources/tutor/statements/ credit_report.php

How do you establish good credit? What laws protect you? How can you correct errors in your credit history? The following sites can help you:
http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/ccc/establish.html http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/ccc/repair.html

How good is your understanding of how credit works? To test your knowledge, try taking the online quiz offered by the American Bankers Association:
http://www.aba.com/aba/static/eduquiz.html

Identity theft can result in false negative information entering your credit report. For some tips on preventing identity theft and what to do if you are a victim, the following sites explain the best steps that you can take:
http://www.aba.com/ABAEF/CNC_contips_idtheft.htm http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft/

One of the keys to avoiding identity theft is to safeguard your personal and financial information. If you receive e-mail asking you for personal information, be cautious in responding! You could be the target of a practice known as "phishing" where someone is attempting to steal your identity. For a more complete explanation, visit:
http://www.aba.com/ABAEF/033104PHISH.htm

Remember the different types of credit affect other types of credit. For example, misuing your credit card will affect the interest rate you get on your mortgage. Be sure to review the entire SafeBorrowing website so you know all about different types of credit.