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It wasn't so long ago that a credit check was only required to buy stuff or to rent stuff. For example, if you wanted to buy a car or open a line of credit, you went through a credit check. A potential landlord or mortgage broker would run a credit check to make sure you were financially stable enough to make rent or house payments. Now you get a credit check done when you install a new phone line, when you apply for a payment program at a doctor's office and sometimes even when you apply for a job. Yes, even employers have begun doing credit checks on prospective employees. Now, not only do you need to be free of a criminal record to get a job, you also need to prove a sensible financial past.

Knowing this, you should also know that the chances are not in your favor of having an accurate credit report. Identity theft is rampant and credit reporting agencies are terrible when it comes to checking facts and keeping track of information. Most Americans have reported errors on their credit reports. This is why it is imperative that you keep track of your credit. Do a credit check on yourself every year to make sure that your report is accurate.

Every American is allowed to get one free credit report every year and the only government sanctioned website to use is Once a year, go to and order your credit report. If you are worried about your credit, you can sign up for their monthly monitoring, but this isn't a requirement. Make sure you get your credit report from each of the three agencies because each agency will have different information. Download your "credit check" and go over that report with a fine toothed comb. No kidding. Double and triple check every single detail.

Report every single error to the credit reporting agency that lists it. Do not wait to do this, challenge every single error. The credit agency is required to investigate all credit check challenge individually. Stick with this until all of the errors are cleared from your report. Repeat this process every year. It is a pain, but the end result is worth it.

Here are some tips to keep your credit score as healthy as possible: Keep the amount of accounts you open to a minimum. Make you make all of your payments on time and, if you can afford it, pay a little bit more than the minimum due. Do not apply for too many credit cards. Every time a third party checks your credit, it takes away from your credit score and puts a mark on your report. That marks stays there for two years.

The more diligent you are about making your payments on time, keeping your open accounts to a minimum, and making sure your credit reports are free of errors, the less anxious you will feel when somebody does a credit check on you.

Credit in Minutes Tip #1

Stay on top of your credit report. Most credit reports contain errors. Make sure you check your credit report every year (you get one free credit report every twelve months) and if there are errors make sure to challenge them with the reporting credit agency. Credit agencies are required to investigate each and every challenge that gets reported.

Credit in Minutes Tip #2

Just because you qualify for all of those credit cards does not mean you should get them. A person with too many credit cards looks sketchy in the eyes of a potential creditor. Think of it this way: if a person is financially stable does he or she need ten different credit cards? Wouldn’t just one or two suffice?

Credit in Minutes Tip #3

The best way to raise your credit score is to make all of your payments on time. It sounds too simple to be true, but that’s all there really is to it. Staying out of debt and/or making all of your debt payments on time will keep your score up where it should be.

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