Personal income levels dip

For the first time in nearly two years, personal income levels among workers fell last summer, according to a new report.

Numbers released by the Commerce Department indicate that personal income dropped 0.1 percent in August, amounting to $7.3 billion. Disposable income also declined but at a slightly slower rate, finishing the month down $5 billion.

Spending, meanwhile, ticked upward marginally, rising 0.2 percent to $22.7 billion. In July, personal consumption expenditures totaled $17.1 billion. It's the second-straight month expenditures increased, as in June, spending diminished 0.2 percent, the Commerce Department reports.

With the economy's vitality largely affected by consumer spending, the Federal Reserve has taken several steps in the past few months to encourage buying. Interest rates are at record low levels, prompting some to consider making significant purchases, such as a new car or home.

Capitalizing on low interest rates requires good credit. Consumers can increase their chances of landing prime lending rates by reviewing their credit history and verifying that all notations made on the pertinent documents are accurate and up to date.