Keeping good credit now vital in today's economy

Billion dollar bailouts, mergers and market meltdowns, and an uneasy economy.

Things are tightening up in the financial world and yours, but what can you do to protect yourself in these hard financial times?

As KLTV 7's Layron Livingston explains, the answer may be hidden behind a simple three digit number.

Seems those with the money now need the money - which means they're not readily going to be giving you the money.

"It's going to be much more important in the future that we're improving our credit score in order to be able to get approved."

Glyndel Corzine with Consumer Credit Counseling Service says lenders will be keeping a watchful eye, now more than ever.

"It's going to be the same with buying an auto, it's going to be...applying for credit even it's a credit card," said Corzine.

The higher the credit score, the lower the interest rates and chance for approval when you need credit for those major purchases.

Like buying a home - and these days, mortgages are hard to come by.

"It's important that we maintain that credit score," said Corzine.

Start by pulling a free copy of your credit report from one of the three bureaus and requesting your score.

"You want to make sure that information is accurate....because if there's something inaccurate there, that can bring your score down," said Corzine.

Corzine says it's crucial to make payments on time.

"Things stay on your credit report for a long time, about 7 years minimum, so how you've made payments in the past is going to be there."

She also warns against applying for too much credit, which can bring your score down, and don't put all your credit in one lending basket.

"You don't want everything to be a credit want different types of, because they're looking at those types things as to what kind of credit you have," said Corzine.

It's good information to have in these not-so-good times.

Our experts say another good idea is rotating your credit report. That's pulling one from each reporting bureau every few months to monitor your activity.

For more helpful information, click here, then find the link called Keeping Good Credit.

Layron Livingston, reporting.