Here are three quick credit tips for the New Year:
- Get your credit report.
It's important to know what is in your credit report to ensure your credit information is up-to-date and accurate. Be sure to request a copy of your credit report at least once every 12 months and review the information to ensure there are no errors. You can request a free copy of your report from Annual Credit Report. You also can get a free credit report from Experian.
- Obtain a credit score.
A credit score is a tool used by lenders to help predict the risk that a person will not be able to repay a debt as agreed. Getting a credit score will help you know where you stand in terms of credit risk and give you a starting point to improve your creditworthiness. It can also help you avoid surprises when you go to apply for credit.
The number is calculated using the information from your credit report at the moment it is requested. Credit scores are not part of a credit report. They are a separate tool used to analyze the information from the report. Get a free FICO score when you order your credit report.
- Review the risk factors that come with your credit score.
Every time a credit score is calculated, a list of risk factors are generated. Those risk factors describe what from your personal credit report most affected the credit score. When you request an Experian credit report and score, you receive the number along with an explanation of what it means in terms of risk. You also receive the risk factors that go with the score.
While the numbers can be quite different, the risk factors tend to be very consistent from one credit scoring system to another. By addressing your risk factors over time, you can improve all of your credit scores regardless of the system being used.
Learn more about how utilization rates affect credit scores.
Check out the scope to hear answers to all the questions asked:
Do you have questions about credit?
Join our live video chat every Tuesday and Thursday at 2:30 p.m. ET on Periscope. Rod Griffin, Director of Public Education at Experian, is available to answer your questions live.
Scoped on: 12/30/2016