Give your credit history a free annual review

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It’s important to know what’s on your credit report. Think of your credit report as your financial resume. It can make or break your ability to receive credit, get a job or buy a home.

You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report every year. Here’s how to order one:
Phone: (877) 322-8228
Mail: Print and complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form
and mail it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service, PO Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.

Why is it important to check your credit report?1. It will help you find errors so you can get them fixed.
2. It will help you find fraudulent activity such as accounts opened in your name that you may not be aware of.
3. It will show you your payment history.

To avoid hurting your credit score:
1. Avoid missing payments on bills or loans. Even late payments count against you. If you can’t make a full payment, make some kind of payment.
2. Don’t let other people use your credit card accounts. You are responsible for your account, no matter who uses the card.
3. Don’t overdraw your accounts. You will be charged fees, and you can damage your credit record.

Ways to build your credit history:
1. Open a checking/savings account, or acquire a debit card. These alone will not help your credit, but they will indicate that you have money and you can manage it. Our VISA® Debit Card offers a monthly cash-back rebate with qualifying transactions.
2. Apply for a major credit card. Use it responsibly and pay those credit card bills back on time. We offer VISA® Credit Cards designed to suit your individual needs.
3. Apply for a small loan or line of credit.
4. If you share housing and utilities, make sure a few of those bills are in your name and pay it on time.
5. If you have a student loan, be sure to make regular, on-time payments.
6. Co-sign with a person who has established good credit. Once the co-signing has occurred, simply make your payments on time. Remember, as a co-signer you are equally responsible for repaying the loan if the other signer fails to make a payment.

Information stays on your credit report for up to seven to ten years.

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