Credit scores are an essential part of financial health in the U.S. But building a good score can be challenging, especially for those new to the process, such as students and immigrants.
In an effort to improve financial literary, Consumer Action has partnered with CreditBridge, a New York-based financial technology company, to release a fact sheet detailing techniques and approaches consumers new to the U.S. can use to improve their credit histories and live a healthier financial life.
Starting with little to no credit history can be extremely difficult. “Many in the U.S. find themselves in a catch-22: You need a credit history to obtain a credit card or any other credit product, but you need an existing line of credit to build a credit history,” says Andrew Endicott, co-founder of CreditBridge. “Breaking out of this trap is difficult for many.”
As the fact sheet illustrates, knowledge about credit scoring is essential to building and maintaining a strong credit score. Consumers can significantly improve their credit score by responsibly using small credit accounts, reporting timely non-credit payments and repairing/correcting information on credit reports. And there are a number of lesser-known options for consumers new to credit, such as credit-builder loans and rental payment reporting.
“Establishing credit in the United States can be difficult and frustrating for newcomers. A credit history is necessary for so many day-to-day things, from wireless phones to auto and renters insurance to credit cards,” said Linda Sherry, director of national priorities for Consumer Action. “In concert with CreditBridge, we hope to make the process a little easier by providing targeted tips and advice.”
Common sense is a good guide to building a credit history, but the contours of the credit scoring system require knowledge about the rules of the game. The fact sheet is available on the Consumer Action and CreditBridge websites. Read: Credit Scores in the U.S.
Consumer Action has been a champion of underrepresented consumers nationwide since 1971. Through multilingual consumer education materials, community outreach and issue-focused advocacy, Consumer Action empowers underrepresented consumers nationwide to assert their rights and financially prosper.
CreditBridge is a New York-based financial technology company dedicated to developing products and services that expand access to credit and unlock financial resources in the U.S. Check out the CreditBridge website for more information, along with free resources, expert advice and articles on credit cards, loans, banking and credit scores.
Linda Sherry (linda DOT sherry AT consumer-action DOT org), 202-544-3088
Andrew Endicott (andrew AT creditbridge DOT com) or Jason Gross (jason AT creditbridge DOT com (CreditBridge)