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>>>If you pay your rent or mortgage and telephone bills, and utility payments regularly or maybe an auto loan, you will automatically have a good credit history.<<<

Actually, this is not true.

Paying your mortgage or auto loan on time *does* affect your credit history, as these are loans that you are paying back.

Paying your rent on time, while a good and necessary thing to do, does not affect your credit history in the sense that it does not show up on your credit reports with the major credit reporting agencies. So your rent-paying habits are irrelevant for the purposes of applying for a mortgage or other loan. They are *not* irrelevant for the purposes of renting another apartment, should you move: your new prospective landlord will probably contact your old landlord to check up on your rent-paying history, *in addition* to checking your credit reports to find out how responsible you are with your other bills.

In many major metropolitan areas, there are special agencies that track renters' rent-paying histories and landlords can get reports from them; this is totally separate from the Big Three CRA's, and only relevant if you are trying to rent.

Of course, if you fail to pay your rent and your landlord evicts you, sends you to collections, or takes other legal action, that *will* show up on your credit report. The same applies to your utilities, phone payments, etc - if you get in legal trouble and start to owe money to these folks, you can expect to see it show up on your credit report. But merely paying on time for the service as you recieve it, while a good and necessary thing to do, does not turn up on your credit report.

EVERYONE should be checking their credit reports, with all three credit reporting agencies, once a year to check for fraud and mistakes. This will also help develop an understanding of what does and doesn't appear on your credit report.

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