This week our Ten Smart Money Management Tips topic is the importance of knowing your credit score. These days credit scores determine what you pay for almost everything. And unfortunately, just like everything else, mistakes happen and when you couple that with the ever increasing identity theft problem it is important to be aware of your credit score. We talked earlier about how a FICO score can influence getting a home loan and below is more information about a credit score. It just makes sense to review your credit report on an annual basis.
Experian, Equifax and TransUnion are the three leaders in the credit tracking and reporting world. It’s important when checking your credit score to make sure you see what each has on file under your name since not all creditors report to all three.
On a regular basis Experian, Equifax and TransUnion all refigure your credit score based on information they have received. This is called your FICO score and this three digit number is all most companies are interested in when you apply for any type of credit.
FICO scores a.k.a. Credit scores
- Scores range from 350 to 850.
- The majority fall between 600 and 750.
- Scores over 700 suggest good credit management.
How to get your free credit report
- To order, visit annualcreditreport.com, call 1-877-322-8228.
- Or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. Do not contact the three nationwide credit reporting companies individually. They are providing free annual credit reports only through annualcreditreport.com, 1-877-322-8228 or mailing to Annual Credit Report Request Service.
Fix mistakes or improve credit score
- Pay bills on time
- Use a credit card and make all credit card payments on time
- Maintain a small balance on credit card