Easy steps to see your report and make changes
You’ve undoubtedly heard that it is crucial to have a high credit score. We’re bombarded by TV ads about ways to do that, some providing what they promote as quick fixes to increase your score. Before improving your credit score, you should know the difference between a credit score and credit report and, ultimately, how to get your credit report.
So, what is the difference between a credit report and a credit score?
Your credit report is a statement including information on your credit activity and current credit situation, including loan paying history and status of your credit accounts. There are three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – that handle most credit reports for consumers.
Your credit score is a number based on your credit history and is an easy way for people to see in simple terms if you have good credit or bad credit. The higher the number, the better.
You should check your credit report at least once a year to ensure there are no errors. Problems with your credit report could keep you from getting credit or the best available terms for a loan. Knowing your credit score can help you find the range of mortgage rates you can expect to pay if you’re shopping for a mortgage--whether a new home purchase or a refinance. You’ll pay a lower interest rate if you have excellent credit than the rate you can expect to pay with poor credit. It’s also good to check your credit report annually to watch for identity theft.
You can get your free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com or at 877-322-8228. Each of the three credit bureaus will provide a free credit report once every 12 months. If you have a Peoples Edge Plus Checking account, you can request a single bureau report every six months or upon opening an identity theft resolution case at no additional charge.*
If you have no credit history, build it wisely by applying for no credit needed payment options and making all of your payments on time. In some areas, utility bills in your name will help you build your credit. It’s a good idea to pay off your debt and keep your balances low, applying for new credit only when needed. And be sure to dispute any errors you find on your credit reports.
Being in control of your finances is a great stress reliever. You can learn more about credit and personal finances from a Peoples personal banker. Stop by a bank location or call 888.929.9902 to speak to one today.
Emily is an experienced personal banker at Peoples State Bank - Waukesha. Emily helps our retail customers with their financial questions, providing Peoples products to serve their needs.