You probably want to live the American Dream: complete with a house, car, and possibly a big screen TV. This is definitely a great life and I dream of it, too! That sometimes means, however, that we have to borrow money. Borrowing money means you need to have a good credit score. How do you know what your credit score is? By checking your credit report, of course!
A credit report will give all the information you need and the same information banks have. It’s like having the answers to an exam before taking it! Knowing what’s on your report will help you understand what you can qualify for.
This means you should review your credit score at least once a year to check for errors or concerning patterns, even if you’re not ready to take out a loan. This will prepare you with answers when you face the banks! Here are some things to consider when looking at your credit report.
Find the Errors
After working hard to pay your bills each month, how angry would you be to see an error on your report? Super unhappy, I’m sure! I would be too, and that is because your report will determine what you are approved for in the future.
Fraudulent accounts or random errors can seriously hurt your credit score, and you definitely don’t want that! Go through the report carefully, and make sure it matches the information on your accounts. Compare the two, and be extra careful so you spot errors immediately.
As soon as you see an error, notify the agency right away so to fix it. You don’t want an error to be the reason you can’t get a loan, right? No way!
You Have the Right to Know
You don’t have to wait until you’re applying for a loan to make an inquiry about your credit. You can request a credit report as often as you would like, though you only get one free report per year.
Watch out for These Things
Though small, these things can seriously hurt your credit score:
- Wrong dates on accounts
- Wrong account numbers
- Wrong accounts
- Missing details or blanks (double check your credit limit is clearly listed!)
- A lower credit limit than you actually have
- A balance higher than you actually owe
- Open accounts that should actually be closed
Checking your credit report is an important part of being financially responsible. Be very active with your credit report management! We know it can be a lot of information to tackle. If you have any questions or want more information, give us a call right away. We are here to help!