Managing Credit — Made Simpler: New to Credit

Credit can be a great financial tool to help you manage your money. It also requires a solid understanding of the agreements you're entering into and what's expected of you, a healthy dose of personal responsibility, and establishing patterns that will keep you in good standing with your creditors. When you're new to the world of credit — especially in today's changing credit marketplace — it can be a little overwhelming.

We're here to help. BBB's Managing Credit — Made Simpler provides a set of clear guidelines that will be helpful to most consumers interested in securing their first credit card and managing a personal credit line for the first time. Having a good credit record can help you qualify for low rates if you're about to apply for a credit card, buy a car or are planning to buy a home in the future. Your credit record can also affect your ability to get a job, rent an apartment, get a cell phone, and even find affordable car insurance. It's important to build a positive financial profile for yourself, whether or not you're planning to apply for a big loan in the near term.

Now is the perfect time to learn from this guide. Banking regulations provide valuable protections to help cardholders more effectively manage their outstanding balances. We'll show you how to take proactive charge of your financial life so you can avoid credit problems.

Topics We’ll Cover

  1. Your Credit Report — What Lenders are Looking For
  2. Your Credit Score & How It Can Affect You
  3. How to Build a Good Credit Record
    1. Keeping an Eye on Your Credit Report
    2. More Suggestions
  4. Credit 101
    1. APR — Explained
    2. How to minimize your APR payments
    3. Deciphering your monthly statement
    4. Choosing the right kind of card for you
  5. Smart Steps to Avoid Credit Trouble
  6. Protect Yourself from Fraud