How can I build or repair my credit?

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When learning how to build or repair your credit, don't go to those "credit repair" firms, most of which are high-priced scams. But many large cities have non-profit free or very low-cost consumer credit counseling agencies, which can be very helpful to clean up your credit problems. If you have no credit, force yourself to start building credit. To illustrate, years ago, my dad did that. He and mom were in the habit of paying cash for everything, including the house where I grew up. Yes, mom had department store charge cards, but I remember dad's banker talked him into financing the purchase of a new car to build up his credit. That was a "big deal" around our house. But after about six months, dad hated those monthly car payments so much he paid off that auto loan. However, by then he had started building his credit file. The only major purchase I recall mom and dad buying on credit after that was when they were in their 70s and they bought their condo with a 10 percent down payment...