Your credit score is important. You hear about it all the time, but how much does it impact your life? It’s more than you might think.
Most people are aware that their credit score impacts the way they make big purchases like a car or a home. It is also very impactful when you are trying to get any kind of loan. These aren’t the only times your credit score matters, however.
Employers can check your credit to see if you are reliable and responsible (this is more common in government and financial sectors). Your credit score will be checked if you are trying to rent an apartment or purchase insurance. If your credit score is poor, you can face larger security deposits and higher rates.
Your credit may also checked when purchasing some contracted services like cellular service. Companies want to be able to trust you to make all your payments on time and your credit score at its core provides a history of whether or not you’ve been good at paying off your credit.
To build good credit, be sure you make all loan and credit card payments on time. If at all possible, make sure you always stay within your credit limit. If you’re struggling with your credit, you can find a reputable credit counselor.
The very first thing you need to do on your journey for good credit, however, is check your current score. Make sure you use a trusted source to check your credit score. Every time someone pulls your score, they are charged and so your credit score is rarely free. Many free services either offer an estimate or are offering you a free trial for their services that will automatically charge your credit card after the trial is up. Thoroughly research any online option you are considering and remember that if you must enter your credit card number, you’ll likely be charged.
Under federal law, however, you are entitled to a copy of your credit report every year from all three credit reporting agencies – Experian®, Equifax® and TransUnion.® This report has the information that is brought together to factor your score, but does not include your actual score. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com to get authorized reports from all of these reporting agencies. You can get your credit score from this source, as well, although it is not free.