Your fingerprint is unique to you, so is your credit report.
Do you know WHAT is on your credit summary report?
This information is important because your credit history is your life line in the “real world”. Most, if not all, potential employers will request your credit report along with a background check. Your credit report could be the deciding factor on whether you will be hired. Why do they request this? They want to see how well you manage your finances. It shows how responsible you are or not in that manner.
Know Your Rights
By law, thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you can receive your credit report summary from each of the reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) for FREE. Yes I said it, FREE. What’s the catch? There is no catch, well… you can only request one report from each bureau once a year, but it beats paying for it. J
Visit www.AnnualCreditReport.com to exercise your rights to a free credit report summary. (This site is not the same as the fancy commercials you see on TV).
One piece of information this report leaves out is your actual credit score - which you do have to pay for. Your score is important but what affects your score is more important. It is important to review all three reports to make sure the reports are accurate because people make mistakes.
If you do decide to pay to receive your credit score then you must know what your score means to your financial fingerprint. Your credit score may be extremely low due to identity theft, clerical error, the reasons are endless. You will never know unless you LOOK.
What is a good credit score? In my opinion anything above 710 will get you a reasonable interest rate on a purchase such as a car, home, etc. If your credit score is below this number, check out my next blog which will talk about how to improve your credit score. But hey, you (will) have already completed step 1, which is, check your credit report! Now, if you don’t have a credit history by now (…crickets…) that is an entirely different issue.
ONE More Nugget
One more nugget before I leave you - know the difference between a hard inquiry and a soft credit inquiry.
Hard Inquiry vs. Soft Inquiry:
Every time you apply for a credit card, open a phone line, establish an account for your utilities, purchase a car (unless paying in cash), basically any and everything – most companies will check your credit score. It is important to know what type of inquiry they will complete as it could do more harm than good.
This type of inquiry will negatively affect your credit score and will drop it by a few points. A person or company will pull your credit score if they intend to lend you money. This is why it is important to do your homework before you go, for example, car shopping or house hunting. You do not want numerous potential lenders to pull your credit score. Ouch! Also, fun fact, opening up a checking account is a hard inquiry.
This inquiry has no effect on your credit score. Most soft credit inquires will be pulled by potential employers, landlords, and pre-approval credit cards or loans.
Before you decide to purchase or do anything that you think will affect your credit score, do your research first. Do a quick Google search to see if it is a hard or soft credit inquiry.
Have a great week.
Enhance your financial literacy - learn more about the Fair Credit Reporting Act at www.ftc.gov/credit