Reports on credit
and other financial information
Creating a positive credit history
What can you do to create a positive credit history?
When you apply for credit, print clearly. Consistently use your complete
name. Providing complete, accurate and consistent identification on your
credit applications helps set up your credit history correctly from the beginning.
It also minimizes the chance that your credit file will be incomplete or mixed
with another consumer’s file.
The key to creating a positive credit history is simple: Pay your bills on time!
Most lenders look at the most recent information on a report. So if you’ve
paid your accounts on time for the last two to three years, the lender may
ignore a few late payments from five years ago.
Review your credit report 60 to 90 days before making a major purchase (such
as a home or car). You can get your credit report online at www.experian.com/
consumer or call 888 EXPERIAN (888 397 3742) to request a report to be
delivered by U.S. mail. After you review your report, let us know if any items
are inaccurate. Experian® will investigate any information you question as
inaccurate within 30 days and send you the results.
Set up a budget, and live within it. In the age of self-help and empowerment,
managing your finances should top your list.
Here are some other keys to building a positive credit history:
• Have some credit but not too much. Having no credit history is almost as bad
as having a negative credit history. If you have paid one or more accounts as
agreed, you have shown you can manage your finances responsibly.
• Keep your balances well below your credit limits. High utilization (balances
close to credit limits) often indicates high risk on additional debt.
• Have a mixture of credit types. It is good to have a history of repaying an
installment loan, but a revolving (credit card) account is even more predictive
of credit risk because you must manage your balance and monthly payment.
• Only apply for the credit you need. Several