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Your credit profile is your financial fingerprint. It is the cornerstone of your reputation in the marketplace. It documents how you deal with others and speaks volumes about who and what you are.

It follows you. In certain cases, it precedes you. It will never go away.

For decades, credit has been unfairly portrayed as a mysterious, scary, black cloud hovering above us all. A hostile and complicated system managed by three powerful and distant national credit reporting agencies determined to implement new and painful ways to degrade and frustrate us from attaining our financial goals. A process we could neither understand, nor control.

Most credit extenders, on the other hand, have portrayed themselves as understanding, caring vehicles for the realization of our dreams – heroically standing between us and the dark forces of “credit.”

I believe that we must re-orient our thinking to view credit as a friend — not something to be feared; rather, embraced and, ultimately, celebrated.

But never forget, to have a friend, you must be a friend. A solid friendship requires a good deal of care and a great deal of work.

As with any true friend, when you get to know credit (and in turn it gets to know you), you will come to understand the enormous benefits that such a friendship can bring. If you encourage it to grow, and nurture, respect and protect it, it will enrich your life and be there for you if and when your financial well-being is threatened.

It can help you get a job, buy a car, purchase a home, begin a business, build economic security for your family, guarantee an education for your children and even provide a financial safety net in an emergency.

The theme of this blog is friendship.

Hopefully, together we can get you acquainted with, and for some, reacquainted with your most long standing, and perhaps unappreciated friend – credit.

Originally posted at Credit.com.