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Americans rely heavily on cars and credit cards, and when acredit score gets in the way of obtaining one or both of theseitems, it can make life difficult.

It’s no surprise that you should maintain a good credit report.But with the recent economic decline, you might not have a sterlingreport any longer. Still, you should know what’s on your report soyou can work toward improving it.

Before you go looking for new credit cards or auto loans, getyour freecredit report at The law allows you toreceive a free report from each of the three major credit bureausonce a year. When you get your report, check it for errors, andthen get started on correcting those errors to make your creditscore more accurate.

In addition to checking your report for errors, get started onimproving your credit habits. Start paying bills on time. If youcan’t afford the entire payment, make sure you pay the minimumamount due to prevent your credit from being docked.

Even if your credit history is a little rocky and your reportisn’t as good as it once was, you can still apply for credit cardsor auto loans.

When applying for auto loans, you willneed to do the following things:

* Provide proof of income – creditors will request proof ofincome, want copies of your tax records and bank statements andprobably check your credit score. If you don’t have the bestcredit, you can apply for bad credit auto loans, but you will bepaying higher premiums.

* Investigate interest rates – Lenders will factor into thiscalculation the type of car, your credit history and how long theloan will run.

* Determine if you want direct or indirect financing – Directfinancing is from a bank or lending institution. Indirect financingis through the auto dealer.

* Look at secured and unsecured loans – There are advantages anddisadvantages to both – no matter if you have good credit historyor a low credit score. Make sure you do your research beforesigning on the dotted line.

If you do have bad credit, it’s a little harder to be acceptedfor creditcards. If you are working on improving your credit score andalso need a credit card, your best bet is to apply for a bad creditaccount and get started making timely and regular payments, whichwill help improve your credit rating. You will probably be makinghigher payments with a bad credit account, but it might be worth itif your credit score improves.

Visit to apply for credit cards – no matterwhat your credit rating is – and get started on turning your lifearound by improving your credit score.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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