What Is Credit History?

Your credit history is a reflection of your ability to repay debts and your track record of doing so. It appears on your credit report, which lists the number and types of credit accounts you have, as well as the length of time each account has been open, the amounts outstanding, the amount of available credit used, whether you pay your bills on time, and the number of recent credit inquiries. Your credit report also shows whether you have any bankruptcies, liens, collections, or judgments on your record.

Every customer has access to their credit history (via a credit report) and is entitled to one free credit report per year from each credit bureau.

Why Credit History Is Important

Your credit history is used by potential creditors, such as mortgage lenders and credit card firms, to determine whether or not to offer credit to you. Your FICO score is also calculated using information from your credit history. Creditors look at recent activity, the length of time credit accounts have been open and active, and the patterns and regularity of payback over longer periods of time when reviewing your credit history.

Good Credit History

Having a good credit history basically indicates that you pay your obligations on time and don’t have a lot of debt. It makes it easier to obtain credit cards, provides more loan options, and lowers interest rates.

The easiest approach to keep your credit score in good shape is to pay all of your payments on time each month. You should only have three or four credit cards, maintain low balances on them, keep them for a long time, and never use more than 30% of your available credit. Also, review your credit reports on a frequent basis and be aggressive in rectifying any inaccuracies you detect.

Bad Credit History

Those with a terrible credit history, on the other hand, do not pay their payments on time and have a lot of debt. Late or missing payments, excessive credit card usage, applying for a lot of credit in a short period of time, and big financial events such as bankruptcy, foreclosure, repossession, charge-offs, and settled accounts are all factors that lead to a bad credit history. Bad credit can make it difficult to obtain loans and credit cards, as well as result in limited credit limits with high interest rates, the need to pay security deposits for items like cell phones or apartment and car rentals, and higher car insurance premiums.

You must first have patience in order to restore a bad credit history, as it does not happen immediately. You should examine your credit score on a frequent basis to determine which bad aspects require the greatest attention. Furthermore, you should pay your payments on time, work off your credit card debt, apply for new credit only when absolutely necessary, and potentially find a co-signer with strong credit to accompany you when applying for new credit.

No Credit History

Potential borrowers with no credit history, such as college-aged young adults, may have trouble getting approved for large loans or leases. Landlords may refuse to rent an apartment to someone who does not have a credit history that proves their capacity to make timely payments.

You can start building your credit history by getting a small personal loan or applying for a credit card with a low available balance. This type of usage allows you to demonstrate your ability to manage credit on a small scale before taking on higher amounts of debt. You can also open a shared credit card with someone who has a strong credit history or a secured credit card, which is backed by a deposit in a savings account.

Special Considerations

If you have paid off all of your bills and have not taken out a loan, credit card, or other type of financing for a number of years, you may be able to have your bad credit history erased. This time period can be seven or ten years long. Even borrowers with a good credit history may be forced to start over if such long gaps develop. You might hire a credit repair organization to remove the negative marks on your credit report for a possible faster answer if you’re ready to pay a charge.

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