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Update on how to ease the inheritance-tax burden; Reestablishing credit

I am 26 and divorced. In the past I have used credit unwisely and caused myself to become a bad credit risk. I have read articles about getting credit and maintaining a good credit rating. But how can I reestablish a good rating after creating a bad one? Is there a way to create a good credit rating without having to wait several long years?

N. R.

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Building a good credit rating from scratch is easier that turning around a poor record. More young people should recognize that access to credit is a privilege to be earned and not a right given automatically to everyone. Even if one does not use credit regularly or extensively, a good credit rating can be useful in an emergency or in situations where a credit card is necessary, as in renting a car. You can reestablish your credit by following the same road beginners use; that is, by starting small, paying promptly, and building a record step by step with payments made at the proper time.Start first by depositing cash in a savings account and then borrowing against it. Pay back the loan over a six-month period. Using that record, open another account, possibly through a credit union or to buy a car where you make a substantial down payment -- half or three-quarters of the cost of the car. A local department store could be the next step, folowed by Sears, Roebuck or one of the two bank revolving credit card systems. It will take time to erase your poor rec ord and establish a new image of a creditworthy customer.

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