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smartThe Purchasing Power of a Strong Credit History

Everyone, from college students to recent immigrants, is likely to need the purchasing power a solid credit record conveys. And if you're married, but all credit is in your spouse's name, you definitely should establish your own credit history.

Three national credit bureaus--Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax--track your financial behavior, so it's important to pay your bills on time. Any delinquencies appear on your individual credit report, as does positive payment information. You're entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the three bureaus annually, and can request copies at

When deciding whether to grant credit, lenders use credit scores calculated from the information in your credit report. Some employers and landlords also check credit scores when evaluating applicants. Your credit score is a number assessing the likelihood that you'll pay back debt. The higher the number, the better; a high score indicates little risk of nonpayment while a lower score indicates more risk.

If you don't yet have a credit history, start by opening a savings and checking account at USSFCU. Show that you can handle it responsibly, then apply for a small loan. Department store and gasoline credit cards sometimes are easier to get than other cards.

You also might put your rent and utilities in your name--and be sure to pay on time. Make loan payments on time as well, and pay department store or gas card bills in full monthly. Each of these strategies will raise your credit score, and soon you'll probably qualify for a credit card.

Contact us today. We have a low-rate credit card that's just right for you.

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