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Good credit is something that has to be worked at and maintained. While, it is difficult to rebuild good credit after financial stumbles, good credit from the start can be maintained much easier. The benefits of good credit can help you find the things you want earlier in life, as long as you have the income to back it up. Being a smart consumer is part of how to handle your credit in a successful way. With a few tips and tricks you can work at maintaining good credit right from your first account.

Tip #1: Only borrow exactly what you need. This is important because often times people feel like they are getting free money and they tend of borrow too much or overspend on credit and other store account cards. This can become a habit and then before you know it you are in debt and on a slippery slope toward financial ruin and crippling debt. If you stick to only borrowing the amount you NEED, instead of what you WANT, you can save yourself money and hassle in the long run.

Tip #2: Choose your accounts and credit cards carefully. There are literally thousands of credit card companies out there and most every store offers a charge card or account of their own. It can be easy to fall into a life of charging and catch up if you aren’t careful. Instead of sending out offers as soon as you get them, take the time to read the fine print and select only those with steady interest rates and from larger banks, because they tend to hold more weight on a credit report.

Tip #3: Only charge what you can pay back every month. Paying the minimum payment is a detrimental practice that leads to years of paying off one purchase. Instead only charge exactly what you can pay in full each month. Not only is this easier on your finances, but it also reflects the best on your credit report by showing you pay your balances in full and on time.

Tip #4: Opt-out of excessive offers. Whenever you get a credit card or other credit offer in the mail, the company has already taken it upon themselves to pre-screen you and this puts a negative mark on your credit report and can lower your credit score. Take the time to visit sites like or to opt-out of future mailings and pre-screening.

Tip #5: Adopt smart spending habits and learn to live within your means. By doing these two simple things you will learn how to and become habitual in smart financial practices which in turn will positively affect your credit and credit score. Take the time to learn about smart financial practices and how to achieve the things you want in your life without going into debt to do it.

Regardless, of your level of wealth or responsibility when you turn eighteen or open your first credit account, you have the opportunity to start with a solid credit rating and maintain that throughout life in order to be able to access such things as home, vehicle and other important loans that many seek at some point in their lifetimes. Good credit, when properly maintained, can not only bring about ample borrowing situations and credit, but can also offer you better employments, housing and other opportunities.

Credit is used for a variety of things and while borrowing and loans are the brunt of the credit industry, many employers, landlords, schools and other industries are using credit reports as a definition of character before deciding to work or not work with someone on what they desire. Good credit shows responsibility, awareness and self-worth and can bring you more important things in life than just a nice house and a nice car. Take the time to learn about how to obtain and maintain good credit and find yourself with a richer life, some of which may have nothing to do with the money you have in the bank.