Something as simple as a good credit report can help you do a lot in life, from financing a new car or home to landing the perfect job. Here are a few ways you can read, utilize, and improve your credit.
Check Your Finances
Before you go out and finance a new car or home, check your credit score and full report. That’s because you’ll get a better rate if you have better credit. To get a free copy of your report from each of the reporting agencies, visit annualcreditreport.com, call 877.322.8228 or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form found online. Just be sure to avoid less-than-honest “free credit report” scams that will aim to relieve you from your hard-earned money through added fees and add on services.
Read Your Report Carefully
There are four sections to your report, including personal information, credit history, public records, and inquiries. Double check each of these four sections for errors, omissions, and duplicate information. Showing the same credit card information twice might seem like a simple glitch, but that error could end up costing you. Look at the status of each account. Are they open, inactive, closed, or paid? Also look for any missed payments. If you find any errors, be sure to get them fixed as soon as possible.
If you find an error, you have the right to get it fixed. But it’s up to you to tell the reporting agencies about those errors. Simply contact the reporting agency in writing about the error. If your dispute is found to be valid, they will fix it. However, it could take some time.
Get a Free Copy of Your Credit Score
As a St. Helens Community member, you have free access to your credit score and more. It’s called SavvyMoney, and it’s available right now.