You will need to check your credit score from time to time to keep a check on the credit score and even improve it so that it goes high and even beyond 650 backing you up with an appreciable credit history. But what is really the credit report or the credit score all about?
Well, the credit report is a documentation of the present and the past ‘loan’ information relevant to the person who applies for his/her credit report at the credit bureau.
On the other hand the credit score of a person is the base number that the person at that moment falls on and this score determines the credit risk of the person. So to find out your personal rating, the credit risks you might be in and to decide on how to fix the credit score you will need to have a copy of your credit score. With the help of your credit report you can even try and find methods to maintain the credit score (if it is presently very stable).
Another proper reason for you to check your credit score is to keep a check on the information details filled in the report about your credit history and the different credit activities. There are several times when somebody has found his/her credit report containing incorrect details about financial transactions and credit amounts or even returning dates of the credits.
These incorrect data filling often leads to a bad credit history and mars the good credit record that would have been the possibility. When you have your credit score checked you can contact the respective credit bureau with proper documents of your correction and inform them about the error and the need of correction.
There are a number of online websites offering services to provide credit reports free of cost, but actually deduct an amount of money as a charge for their services from your credit card account. The word ‘free’ is extremely lucrative and the websites hardly have any information about the charges required.
So when you want to check your credit score online, you will need to make sure that you are sure about the charges. Then again there are some websites, which offer free viewing of credit reports for a certain period of time. Dealing with these websites can include a lot of hassle and hence you can opt for approaching the three major credit bureaus for an authenticated credit report.
These three major credit bureaus provide nearly accurate credit reports when you check your credit score using their services and are hence extremely preferable service providers when you are willing to keep maintaining or improving your current credit score with accurate details.
In order to build the best credit score you can, you first have to know where you stand. That means you need to get your credit score in the first place. And you need a way of retrieving it on a regular basis too.
One sure way to have regular access is to sign up with one of the different credit monitoring services available nowadays. These services will provide you with one or more credit score retrievals plus other features and benefits. Each service differs in some way from the others when it comes to features. You need to see for yourself what they have to offer to determine which one’s right for you. Here are what I consider the three best subscription services. Each one offers a different mix of services and pricing.
But each one does offer some sort of free trial period so you can get a good sense of how the service would work for you without paying a dime.
Unfortunately, there is no real way to get just your credit score for free – unless of course you’ve been denied credit in which case the lender is obligated to provide you with your credit score information – but that’s too late to do you any good.
You can buy your credit score from the individual credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax) if you desire. You can also go to the Fair Issac Corp. website (myFICO.com) to purchase either the TransUnion or Equifax versions – Experian doesn’t work with myFICO. The cost is variable but as an example, myFICO was charging $19.95 for a credit score as of this writing. I think this is a little expensive for one-off credit scores, but if you want to go in that direction, here’s the contact information you need.
What About Free Credit Reports?
Credit reports are different animals than credit scores. Your credit report isn’t a score; it’s a compilation of information on how you pay your bills, if you’ve filed for bankruptcy, and other public reported information such as arrests or lawsuits. Unlike credit scores, credit reports are available for free because the Fair Credit Reporting Act (of 2011) mandates that each credit bureau supply one per year to anyone who asks.
But don’t be fooled by those TV commercials, there’s only one website authorized to handle these free credit report requests.
You can order 1 free credit report per year from each of the credit bureaus. That means 1 from Equifax, 1 from TransUnion, and 1 from Experian for a total of 3 reports per year – or 1 about every 4 months. For many people, this is enough to monitor their credit activity. If you want more up-to-the-minute monitoring, or even daily access, you should purchase a credit monitoring package (see above).
Does Checking Your Credit Score Affect Your Credit?
Your own credit score retrievals won’t negatively impact your credit. However, inquiries made by businesses with whom you’ve applied for credit will knock your score down a tiny bit. Several inquiries over a short period of time has long been a tell-tale sign of potential credit problems and the credit score calculations take that into account.
When I am thinking about getting a loan or a credit card, the first thing that I’ll do is try to get my credit score. This will give me an idea whether the loan or credit card application will get approved or not. The credit scores are extremely important in case of loans and credit cards.
Experts often recommend that people should keep checking the credit reports every year to stay updated with the latest credit score. With the new age of technology, the credit reports can nowadays be received online for free.
When you receive your credit report you will need to check for a few things in the report so that you are sure about the truth of the details given and are even informed about all your accounts and financial transactions. The first thing to check is the ‘errors’.
When I get my credit score and am checking the credit report for errors I will need to check for the name, postal address, previous postal addresses and even the social security number put into the report. The accuracy of these information details is important and only when they are correct the credit companies and the other lenders will be able to check the credit report of the correct person while verifying credit score for approving the credit.
If you have tried hard to maintain your credit report above the normal standard you will definitely not want anyone with poor credit report take advantage of your credit score just due to the mistake of name or personal details even if it is just one incorrect alphabet.
The next step I should take after I get my credit score is to check for any charge offs or defaults or any kind of internal collections. These terms will indicate that the credit report’s status is not very appreciable and that there have been too many payment misses which one will now need to clear up as soon as possible.
The charge offs indicate that the creditor gave up since you didn’t repay since long. But if you want to improve your credit score these are the accounts you’ll need to stress on. But, if you find one such account in the report despite the fact that you have regularly paid the amounts, there has been a mistake in the report and you will need to contact the creditor about the case.
There are other cases when there are accounts on one’s name, which should not have been in the report. Keeping a check on the credit score periodically will help you to handle such problems much easily. So hire a service and send the request “get my credit score” today!