Build Your Credit, Step by Step

Building credit can be tricky. If you don’t have a credit history, it’s hard to get a loan, a credit card or even an apartment.  When you're just beginning to build your credit, consider starting off small and looking for options available for those with little or no credit. We believe it’s all about the “little victories.”

Our counselors have 50-years of non-profit expertise behind them. They’ll help you without judgment and with total support for your long-term success. And while the plan we recommend may take some time, most times we can get it all rolling in one meeting or even with one phone conversation.

In our first appointment we’ll:

  • Review your tri-merge report from the 3 major credit-reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion – most people never hear of them until they need credit, which may be too late if the score isn’t as good as it can be.)
  • Let’s go over everything that might appear on your credit report  in complete detail and in simple language. Let’s make sure you understand everything and its importance.
  • You’ll know what all the score numbers mean, and which numbers are the ones to shoot for.
  • Let’s get an action plan together with a checklist of “little victories” that will help you build you credit worthiness step-by-step. And we’ll make sure you’re on track to maintain good credit and reach your goals.

Good credit definitely contributes to your good name in the marketplace setting you up for responsible borrowing . Let’s build your credit, and build your life.

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Appointment Information
  • 1-hour session; available in-person or by phone
  • Spanish speaking counselor available
  • Arrangement can be made for hearing impaired
  • Fee:  $ 65/individual; $75 couple  
How can I dispute an error on my credit report?

Send your letter by certified mail, “return receipt requested,” so you can document what the credit reporting company received. Keep copies of your dispute letter and enclosures. Credit reporting companies must investigate the items in question — usually within 30 days

How can I establish credit?

Get credit for the rent you pay. If you're building your credit score from scratch, you'll likely need to start with a secured credit card.

How often do credit scores change?

Your credit score changes as your credit report changes. Therefore, it can change often since new information is added to your credit report all the time

What effect can an error have on your credit report?

Account-related and derogatory mark errors could affect your credit score, which could then affect whether you'll qualify for a financial product such as a credit card or loan and what terms you can get. Personal information errors typically don't affect your credit score, but they could alert you to a reporting issue -- or even fraud.

What information goes into calculating a credit score?

Credit scores use information from three key areas of your credit report: account information (such as credit cards, auto loans, student loans, mortgages and rent), public records (such as tax liens or bankruptcies) and inquiries (requests by lenders to view your credit). Information such as race, gender, where you live and marital status are not used in credit scores

What is a credit score?

A credit score is a numerical expression based on a level analysis of your  credit files, to represent your creditworthiness .  A credit score is used by a lender to help determine whether a person qualifies for a particular credit card, loan, or service.

What is a good credit score?

While different lenders have their own standards for rating credit scores, 700 and higher (on a scale of 300 to 850) is generally considered good.

What is a secured credit card?

A secured card is backed by a cash deposit you make upfront; the deposit amount is usually the same as your credit limit.

Why is credit so important?

Your credit history and score is one of your most important parts of your financial life. Your credit score follows you forever and it will play a huge role in many major financial situations throughout your life.