Check Your Credit Report

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Check Your Credit Report 

Everyone deserves to feel confident about their finances.  Credit card companies and lenders rely on credit scores, which determine someone’s chances to borrow money — and how favorable the terms will be to borrow the money or open the line of credit.  Scores range from 200 to above 800.   Scores below 620 are considered risky; 720 and over are excellent. 

There are five categories of scoring: payment history (35%); amount owed (30%); length of credit history (15%); new credit (10%); and types of credit (10%).   Lenders receive your score and “reason codes,” which are the keys to improving your score.  Check your own score yearly by ordering reports from the three major credit scoring companies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.   You can also sign up with Credit Karma - you can check you scores anytime, any where for free. 

Notify the credit bureau of inaccuracies, along with copies of documents that dispute incorrect entries. Close accounts not in use. Request that late payments older than seven years be removed. Verify and update accounts and account numbers. Verify your address and Social Security number. 

Student Loans can wreck your credit - there are different ways to handle them.  Napala Pratini of Credible has these tips: Determine your payoff priority, consider refinancing and consolidating your student loans, ask your employer if they offer student loan forgiveness, stick with it! 

To improve your score: Pay your bills on time. Reduce outstanding debt. Build up your savings. Don’t fall for illegal schemes that help create a new credit identity.