How do I build a “Shield” for my credit?! In the past, NO credit was as bad or even worse than bad credit. Not so true anymore, but still better to HAVE credit. Be careful how you go about setting up your credit history! Map it out, and check out the best credit card that suits your purpose (please don’t look at Victoria’s secret as an option) as you want an option that you can use for gas/groceries/living expenses. The purpose being, you need those things and you can pay it off each month. Remember, don’t ever charge for something you don’t have enough cash to pay off in 3 weeks. Why 3 weeks? 0% to minimal interest rates apply if you pay it off before it is due! After a few months you will see your FICO score start to move upward. If you are currently renting, talk to your landlord about supplying payment history to the top three “big credit dogs”. Those are: Transunion, Experian and Equifax. Also, don’t ever have your credit checked by someone who is trying to sell you something! Even if it is “free”! That inquiry tells the FICO computer that you are about to make a purchase. It automatically figures that you purchased whatever it is and then promptly lowers your score. Not fair but true. This is called a hard credit check. There are soft credit checks too but that is only 1/3 true. You need all 3 big dogs to put in their opinions (numbers) and then the real fico score will be the one in the middle. Often with the soft credit checks or “free credit checks” you will generally get one of the big 3 to ante in and even then it will be one of the three scores that comes back (low, middle or high). So it’s a crap shoot. LaNae Cloud Broker

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