If you've looked through Credit ABCs and Your Credit you should have a basic understanding of what credit is, how it works, why you need it. The goal now is to help your credit remain in good standing. So here are our top four tips for maintaining good credit:
Pay Your Bills on Time
Establish a process to make your payments well before the due date, so you can help avoid late fees and other possible charges. Also, make sure you have the money in your account - you can write a check or schedule an online payment, but if you don't have the cash, you won't be on time. Making payments on time is not only simple, it's one of the best things you can do for your credit score.
There's a wealth of information out there on the Web and in the media that addresses issues that you may have with your credit and how to maintain good credit - use them! And be sure to periodically review your credit report for errors. If you issue a complaint, the bureau and your creditor must investigate it and correct or remove any information that isn't accurate.
Check your credit report at each of the three major credit bureaus:
You can contact the agencies directly to get a copy of your credit report. Or you can also visit www.annualcreditreport.com to request your reports online.
Use Credit Wisely
Creating a budget (even a high-level one) will show you where your money is going - and this is powerful knowledge. Armed with this info, you'll find it's much easier to track outstanding debt and work toward paying it off.
Inform Your Creditors of an Address Change
Notify your creditors immediately when you move, so you can receive and pay bills on time.
Want more information on getting and keeping good credit? Check out these links:
Understanding Vehicle Financing - A handy tutorial on financing a vehicle put together by the not-for-profit agency AFSAEF.
American Financial Services Association Education Foundation - A not-for-profit financial institution that helps consumers become financially literate.
Once you understand credit, you're ready to elevate your knowledge about the differences between financing and leasing a Toyota. Our Buy or Lease section can help you decide which is best for you.