Five Credit Management Tips From TransUnion.ca Put 'Gold Medal' Credit Behavior Within Reach



    
    Leading Canadian Credit Monitoring Website Provides Resources to Help
    Manage Finances

    
    TORONTO, Aug. 12 /CNW/ -- Nearly one week into the Summer Games, Canadian
athletes are showcasing their elite skills to the entire world in hopes of
attaining the ultimate prize -- the gold medal.  While only a select few will
achieve that honor, virtually anyone can learn to achieve 'gold medal' status
when it comes to their credit behavior, thanks to some easy-to-follow tips
from TransUnion.ca.
    More than half of all Canadians (55%) admit to having more expenses than
income at least one month a year, according to a 2007 study by Credit Canada.
Credit Canada also found that more and more Canadians are using credit to make
up for that financial short-fall, which can be risky if it becomes an ongoing
habit.  These consumers need to be aware of the role debt can play in their
overall financial status.
    "There's no time like the present to start working toward achieving a
solid credit track record," said Tom Reid, director of Consumer Solutions for
TransUnion.ca.  "By training themselves to follow a relatively simple regimen,
consumers will find they can compete more effectively for the ultimate prize
in the credit world -- low interest rates."  Tips from TransUnion.ca include
the following:

    
    1. Pay your bills on time, every month, no exceptions.
       Mark your calendar, make yourself an appointment in Outlook, or set an
       alarm on your cell phone. Just make sure you don't miss a payment due
       date, even if you can only pay the minimum amount due.
    

    
    2. Keep your balances at or below 35 percent of your limits.
       Lenders evaluate you, in part, based on how much of your available
       credit you're using. So, if you allow your credit card balances to
       creep up toward their limits, you may be less likely to get approved
       for a loan at a competitive rate.
    

    
    3. Monitor your credit report regularly, like you would monitor your
       health.
       Much like your physical health, regular credit health "check-ups" can
       help you remain in good financial shape down the road.  For example,
       keeping a close watch on your credit profile and score throughout the
       year via a credit monitoring service can provide you with insight into
       how lenders are likely to view your credit standing at any point in
       time. Given the continued prevalence of identity theft, keeping tabs on
       changes and accuracy can also help you detect potential signs of fraud.
    

    
    4. Keep tabs on any lease or loan where you're the co-signer.
       Think twice before you co-sign for a loved-one, friend or roommate.
       When you open a joint account or co-sign on a loan, you are taking on
       legal responsibility for the account. Any activity on these shared
       accounts, good or bad, may be reflected in both of your credit
       histories.
    

    
    5. Think twice before closing a longstanding credit card account.
       Canceling old credit accounts can lower your credit score by making
       your credit history appear shorter. It may also increase how much of
       your available credit you're viewed as utilizing.
    
    "These tips and the various resources we offer at TransUnion.ca, can
empower Canadians to go for the gold in terms of credit management," added
Reid.  Unlike the Summer Games, this is one competition where everyone --
regardless of past performance -- can and should participate.  To learn more
about managing credit, visit TransUnion.ca.
    
    About TransUnion
    
    As a global leader in credit and information management, TransUnion
creates advantages for millions of people around the world by gathering,
analyzing and delivering information.  For businesses, TransUnion helps
improve efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by
delivering comprehensive data and advanced analytics and decisioning.  For
consumers, TransUnion provides the tools, resources and education to help
manage their credit health and achieve their financial goals. Through these
and other efforts, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies
worldwide.  Based in Toronto, with global headquarters located in Chicago,
Illinois, TransUnion provides local service and support in Burnaby, Edmonton,
Saskatoon, Montreal, Quebec City, Rimouski, Charlottetown, Halifax and St.
John's. Visit http://www.transunion.ca to learn more.
    Editor's Note: for more information or to schedule an interview with Tom
Reid, contact Steven Katz, TransUnion, at 312.985.2373 (skatz@transunion.com)
or Aimee Eichelberger, CKPR at 312.568.7324 (aeichelberger@c-k.com).




For further information:

For further information: Steven Katz of TransUnion, +1-312-985-2373,
skatz@transunion.com; or Aimee Eichelberger, +1-312-568-7324,
aeichelberger@c-k.com, for TransUnion Web Site: http://www.transunion.ca

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