How do you pull your credit report and check your score without getting scammed or unknowingly giving the “bad guys” your personal information?
You can get your credit report online, but you must use a reputable source.
The U.S. government operates an agency that provides education to consumers. Why is the government doing this? Because there are a lot of shady companies out there and everyone deserves to learn how to protect themselves. The agency is called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Free Credit Report
On the CFPB website, you’ll find education about your credit rights and information on where to get a free credit report.
Per government mandate, you get one free credit report each year.
Credit Report vs. Credit Score
While you’re entitled to a yearly free credit report, the credit report doesn’t provide you with your credit score.
Here’s quality information on the difference between your credit report and your credit score.
Credit Report – What’s Included
Your credit report is a summary of your financial history.
Here’s what your credit report includes (according to Experian):
Your credit report includes important information about you, including:
- Personal information, such as your name, Social Security number, aliases or former names, current and former addresses, and sometimes your current and former employers
- Account information, including payment history, account balances and limits, and dates the accounts were opened or closed. This includes credit accounts that may be in your name such as credit cards, mortgages, student loans, and vehicle loans
- Bankruptcies and accounts in collections
- Inquiries, which lists the lenders and other companies that have accessed your credit report
Credit Report – Reviewing the Details
Reviewing your credit report can seem like a daunting task. Your report was free, but it’ll take some effort to review your report and make sure everything is right.
To make it easier on yourself, consider using this simple credit report checklist that will walk you through your report and help you spot mistakes.
If you find a mistake, the bottom of the checklist shows you who to contact to make it right.
Credit Score – How to Get It
If you’re interested in learning your credit score, once you’ve received your free credit report, the company that provided your report (Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian) will probably offer you the option to pay for receiving your score.
These services can be subscription-based so you’ll want to be careful what you’re agreeing to.
To learn the four ways to learn your credit score, the CFPB provides great information.
Ideal Credit Score
Your credit score matters when you’re trying to qualify for home financing.
Your loan officer should review your entire financial profile and speak with you personally about your five, ten, and twenty-year goals so you can create a smart plan for homeownership.
Let me know if you have questions about how your score affects your ability to qualify for a home loan.
Get Expert Guidance
Make sure you know what you’re getting into when it comes to choosing a home loan program that’s right for you.
Work with someone who has your best interest at heart and a high level of expertise about the myriad of programs and scenarios available.
Consider chatting with your local Loan Advisor today.
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