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Is your credit history/score like a criminal record? I mean is it always with you? Also, are there other ways to get credit cards besides with a bank? I want inside my credit score without having a commitment.

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Are credit unions the same as banks in your opinion? –  MrChrister Mar 9 at 18:50
    
I don't think so. They serve different purposes. Don't you think so too? Policies, rates, and fees are distinguishable. –  user25700 Mar 9 at 18:54
    
I don't know that (very generally) they serve different purposes. Banks == Credit Unions by and large. I was just curious if you a repelled by the system, or by the institutions. –  MrChrister Mar 9 at 19:16
    
What do you mean by "I want inside my credit score without having a commitment"? Grammatically parses, but it doesn't make sense. –  Chris W. Rea Mar 10 at 0:33
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2 Answers 2

Is it like a criminal record?

That is an opinion. I don't think so. Here are some differences:

  • Everybody in the US who uses credit, good or bad, has a credit report (other countries too, but I am no expert in that)
  • NOT having a report can be just as harmful as having a bad report in some circumstances
  • Having a good report can save you money
  • Having a bad report can cost you money
  • Having a bad report doesn't send you to jail (in the US)

If you use credit responsibly and take the time to make sure the reporting agencies are being accurate, a good report can benefit you. So that isn't like a criminal record.

What is also important to know is that in the United States, a credit report is about you, not for you. You are the product being sold. This is, in my opinion, and unfortunate situation but it is what it is. You will more than likely benefit for keeping a good report, even if you never use credit.

There are many credit scores that can be calculated from your report; the score is just a number used to compare and evaluate you on a common set of criteria.

Having a credit score without commitment

If you think about it, that doesn't make sense. The score is a reflection of how you use credit. Having and using credit is a commitment. Your are committing to the lender that you will repay them as agreed.

Your choice is who you decide to make agreements with. I personally find the business practices of my local credit union to be more palatable than the business practices of the national bank I was with. I chose to use credit provided by the credit union rather than by the bank. I am careful about where I take auto loans from, and to what extent I can control it, where I take home loans from.

Since it is absolutely a commitment, you are personally responsible for making sure that you like who you are making commitments with.

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Where do you get credit cards and usually which one offers the best deals? –  user25700 Mar 9 at 19:24
    
There are sites that if you put in your spending habits, it will recommend the "best" deals. I personally go for cash back cards and low interest rates. "Best" depends on your goals - do you want rewards, value, social responsibility... –  MrChrister Mar 9 at 19:33
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For instance and to give a comparison to the US - in Austria, almost everybody gets a credit card (without a credit history (e.g. a young person) / with a bad credit history & with a good credit history).

The credit history is in the USA much more important than in Austria. In future, the way to assess a credit history will change due to analysis of social networks for instance. This can be considered in addition to traditional scoring procedures.

Is your credit history/score like a criminal record?

Nope.

I mean is it always with you?

Not really cause a criminal record will be retained on a central storage (to state it abstract) and a credit history can be calculated by private companies.

Also, are there other ways to get credit cards besides with a bank?

That depends on the country. In Austria, yes.

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