How to Qualify for Credit
To qualify for credit, you must
first show potential creditors
that you are creditworthy.
While companies use various criteria to judge your credit qualifications, your ability
to repay debt and the willingness to do so are some of the primary considerations.
While scoring systems vary from one lender to another, characteristics usually
examined include your income, which measures your ability to repay, and your credit
history, which indicates your willingness to repay. Your credit history is a record of
debt such as charge accounts at department stores, installment loans, credit card
accounts, and mortgage payments. Lenders believe how debt has been handled in
the past is an indication of how your credit obligations will be handled in the future.
While many consumers prefer to operate on a "pay as you go" system, cash
transactions do not count towards establishing your credit history.
Other factors that lenders look for are residence, employment record, current assets,
and legal age (in Minnesota is age 18) to obtain credit. Owning versus renting your
home, the number of years you have been at your residence, and how long you
have been employed at your job are viewed as measures of your stability and count
towards your total credit score. Debt outstanding is also considered; for example,
a substantial amount of outstanding debt could affect your ability to repay a new
Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, credit cannot be denied because of age,
sex, marital status, race, color, religion, or national origin. However, it does not
guarantee that you will receive credit; you still must show that you are creditworthy.