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Credit Report Check First Step towards Becoming Financially Fit in 2010

By Faye Mergel
Published: Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Financial resolutions have become popular over the last few New Years largely because of the economic downfall that started hitting the United States in 2007. Many economists noted that the financial crisis which lasted from 2007 to 2009 is the worst that the country has seen since the Great Depression of the 1930’s. As Uncle Sam slowly moves his way towards recovery, finance advisers say 2010 is also a great time for consumers to recover financially. Checking their credit report is one of the best ways to start this year, experts add.

TETRRF-00022753-001Brenda Marin, of the Neighborhood Housing Services in Elgin, Ill., says many people who sought her help are yet to learn the basics of financial planning. She notes that young adults who lack financial education often do not know that items on their credit report affect their ability to qualify for a loan and the rate of interest that will be charged on them. In some cases even older adults are not aware this, she adds.

Marin also observed that the credit industry is getting more complex, with card deals and debt contracts not as simple as they used to be. She says many people do not bother asking what the fees on their cards are while some are using debit cards like credit cards. Wide spread misinformation is causing American consumers to incur serious black marks on their credit report, experts commented.

For those who want to rebuild their finances, Marin says the first step is re-establishing the credit score. She advises consumers to begin this process with an honest assessment, knowing how much they owe and how much income is spent each month towards debt payments.

Marin advises consumers to start rebuilding their finances by checking their credit report. She says many people have never checked their credit report or do not know that they have the right to access it.

Specialists remind consumers that federal law guarantees them access to their credit report for free every 12 months, which they can get through the government-backed website annualcreditreport.com.

Once they have already studied their credit report, Marin tells consumers to start making their monthly budget. She added that it is likewise important to have a goal when one would become financially secured once more.

Instead of returning to their unrestrained spending habits, consumers are advised to be mindful of every cent they spend and to always allocate a portion of every dollar they spend towards saving. Those who are carrying holiday debts are advised to pay them off quickly to avoid paying late fees and other charges.

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