• Credit Education

    Learn more about what goes into your credit report, as well as what you can do to help build or boost your score.

  • Here are five ways to help develop good financial habits and begin to build credit:

     

    1. Establish banking relationships - open checking and savings accounts.This will not directly establish your credit history, but lenders typically ask for bank account numbers on credit applications. If the account remains in good standing, this can help the lender know that you can manage money.

    2. Be consistent. When reviewing a credit or loan application, lenders look for a stable income source, work history, and place of residence.

    3. Apply for a department store card or a gas card. These may be easier to obtain than regular credit cards and typically have lower credit limits. Be careful, however, as some of these cards come with high interest rates. It is a good strategy to charge only small items and pay your card balance off in full each month.

    4. Apply for a secured credit card. To help build your credit history, a secured card works like any other credit card, but requires a collateral account. Your credit line will be the amount of your collateral deposit. Some companies will evaluate your history and consider graduating you to an unsecured card if you meet their specific criteria.

    5. Consider a co-signer or co-applicant. Applying with a cosigner or co-applicant may help you qualify or acquire better credit terms, but remember that your cosigner or co-applicant also takes responsibility for payment. That means the credit history will be reflected on both of your credit reports.

    Once you’ve built your credit history, keep it moving in a positive direction. If you maintain your credit, manage your debt, and grow your savings, you will be better prepared to meet your financial goals.

  • Do you know the difference between your credit report and your credit score? If not, you’re not alone. It can be easy to see these two related items as one and the same. However, if you take a closer look, you may start to see differences in how they impact your financial health. Here are some answers to a few common questions you might have:

    What’s a credit report?

     

    A credit report includes information about your past and existing credit agreements, such as credit card accounts, mortgages, and student loans, and lists inquiriesabout your credit history. It outlines how much you owe creditors, how long each account has been open, and how consistently you make on-time payments. Credit reports also list related public records, such as collections or bankruptcy filings.  

    What’s a credit score?

     

    A credit score is like a grade that’s given to your credit report. This three-digit number typically ranges from 300 to 850, specifically those based on the standard FICO® Score. There are three different credit reporting agencies –Equifax®, Experian®, and TransUnion® – each of which assigns you a credit score. When you request your credit score, you will actually receive three numbers in return, and since the numbers will be coming from different reporting agencies, they may all be different. Please note that your free annual credit report does not automatically include a credit score. Each reporting agency will charge a fee to show you the credit score they give you. If, once you have your credit score from all three agencies, any of those numbers are drastically different than the others, you may want to look closely at your credit report to see if there are any errors which you can dispute. A high credit score can indicate lower risk to the lender and customers with a high credit score may be more likely to qualify for a loan.

     

    How can I access my credit report and credit score?

     

    The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows consumers access to one free credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting agencies, through AnnualCreditReport.com. By viewing your credit reports, you will be able to know what lenders will see when you apply for a loan. The free annual credit report will not contain your credit score. To access your credit score for a fee, you can contact the credit reporting agencies. There are also credit monitoring services available for a fee that can provide this information for you. Some banks and credit card companies now provide credit scores to their eligible customers. 

    By understanding your credit report and credit score – and checking them regularly for accuracy – you can make informed choices that will impact your financial future.

  • Credit Repair Blog

    News, information, and perspectives on credit reports, credit scoring, credit repair and other related topics provided by us.

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