Knowing your credit score can save you from the embarrassment of being declined for that loan, car lease, or mortgage, as well save you thousands of dollars. So how do you find out your credit score for free? Read on to find out!
What Exactly is a Credit Report?
A credit report consists of a detailed list of your credit history maintained by one of three main US credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You can imagine it as a report card that holds information on all of your current and past financial activities. When you apply for a loan, the lender requests your credit report from one or all of these agencies and uses it to help determine whether or not to approve your loan. All of the factors in your credit report are used to calculate what is know as your “credit score” which is between 300 and 850, the higher it is the better.
Why Should I Check My Credit Score?
Checking you credit report might seem like a difficult and expensive task to carry out, and in the past it usually was, but with recent advances in modern technology, namely the internet, checking your credit score online is simple and FREE! The Federal Trade Commission requires all of the major national credit reporting companies to provide consumers (that’s you!) with a totally free copy of their credit report if requested, up to once every 12 months.
Now that you know that facts about obtaining your free online credit check, here are a few of the reasons why you should take advantage of this opportunity:
1. Help Prevent Identity Theft and Fraud.
Identity theft occurs when a criminal uses your personal information, such as your credit card number or Social Security number, to carry out fraudulent activities. When you obtain your credit report you are able to check over your credit history and make sure that no one has negatively affected your credit score through identity theft. If you do happen to find any fraudulent activities or inaccurate information on your report, you can contact the credit report agency or credit card company involved, and have them correct this inaccurate information.
2. Avoid Embarrassing Credit Surprises.
Which way would you rather find out you have less than perfect credit; when the bank or car dealer tells you so in their office, possibly in front of your friends or family, or when you request a credit report in the privacy of your own home? Knowing your credit score is the best way to avoid being put into an uncomfortable or down right embarrassing situation. Not to mention it can save you bundles of time. Knowing your credit score, and what is on your credit report, will help you make more informed decisions in a vast array of financial situations.
3. Correct Inaccurate Information.
It has been reported that approximately 1 in 4 credit reports contain serious errors, many bad enough to impact the consumer’s eligibility to obtain a loan. Credit reporting agencies have very sophisticated and precise credit reporting protocols, but nothing is 100% foolproof and mistakes do happen. Sometimes outdated information will remain on your credit report longer than it is supposed to, negativity impacting your overall credit score. Obtaining a free online credit check is a great way to make sure your information is correct and up to date, before applying for a loan or new credit card.