Negative credit history can prevent you from getting a better interest rate on a mortgage, car loan or a credit card. High interest rates can cost you thousands of dollars over the life of a loan.

A poor credit rating can make life difficult. Good credit is important, among other things, for obtaining loans at reasonable rates, getting approved for a lease on an apartment getting insurance, being hired for certain jobs and making purchases like cars and homes.

Many people who are labeled as having “poor credit” are in fact responsible people who have had some financial hardship beyond their control or are wrongfully considered “bad credit risks” because of errors and inaccuracies on their credit reports. The three major credit reporting agencies many times are reluctant to correct erroneous information on decisions you can make.