e all know that feeling of dread whenever we have to confront something that has been neglected for a long time. There are common situations such as a dirty kitchen or overgrown backyard and less common situations like when you haven’t contacted a close friend or relative in a very long time. In all these situations, the most difficult part comes in the beginning when you have to make a decision and take action. Getting on top of your credit happens in a similar way.
When you finally decide to improve your credit, maybe because you want to purchase a better vehicle or own a home, there is an initial moment of frustration as you try to find your credit score. Search the Web for “credit report” and you’re immediately bombarded with dozens of websites offering cheap credit reports delivered in seconds. No need to guess which site you should spend your money on.
In order to comply with Federal Government regulation, the three major credit bureaus created a website that allows everyone to get their credit report for free once a year:
Here you can create a user account where you can view a comprehensive credit report from all three major bureaus. Before you begin, try to gather as many financial records as you can, not only so that you can compare them with the reports but also because this website will ask “security questions” about your financial past in order to verify your identity.
*If you are unable to access you reports online for any reason- including wrong answers on the security questions- then AnnualCreditReport.com has a phone number you can call to order your credit report by mail.
After you acquire your credit report, you’ll also need to find out your credit score in order to track your progress. Most of you reading this have probably already heard of CreditKarma.com. This is a good website to get a credit score from all three major bureaus.
Your credit score will help you see where you stand in terms of reaching your financial goals. For instance, you need a score of at least 620 in order to qualify for a home mortgage. If your score falls below that, there are actions you can take to improve it. First and foremost, thoroughly check your credit report for wrong or out dated information. Your credit score may be hindered by entries that are not even supposed to be there.
If you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe to our email newsletter as in the coming weeks we will discussing more about how to take back control of you creditworthiness.