How to Start Building Good Credit

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As a country, we have not-so-perfect credit. Taking a page from the book of Chris Rock, other nations may actually decide to stop taking our cash. All kidding aside, in 2013, Standard & Poor’s gave the U.S. a credit rating of AA+ over the long term and A-1+ for the short term. This was a reduction that ranked the U.S. lower than several other nations, like Canada, France, and the United Kingdom (to name a few).

Many of your financial behaviors and decisions impact your individual credit score. Of course, major life purchases like a home or a car affect credit. Paying bills on time impacts a score, as well, and renders you ahead of the game (and many Americans), but does not guarantee you a perfect credit score, though. The impact of some financial decisions is not as plain to see but can still lower or raise your score. Building good credit requires both on-time payments, and a bit of strategy.