The term “Credit Score Review” is thrown around a lot these days. Companies from Discover Card to CreditKarma will tell you your credit score. They will even tell you about the 5 factors that make up your score:
- Payment History
- Length of Credit History
- New Credit
- Type of Credit
But it’s the credit report that tells the bigger story. The credit score itself is determined when the Fair Isaac Company (FICO) reads and interprets your credit report. Have you ever looked at your credit report? (If you answered “no” to this question, do not read any further. Click Here and get a copy right now.)
Looking at a credit report can be confusing at first. What looks like an unintelligible mess of codes and numbers is really an organized report of data that details your entire credit history. Here are three ways that reviewing it (or sitting with someone who can show you how to read it) can save you money.
- Find mistakes or inaccuracies – Yes, people make mistakes. Think of that one time years ago when you were late one day on a payment and that company reported it to the bureau. You could be paying the price for that in terms of less credit offered and higher rates.
- Identify high rates – Reviewing your credit report can show you where you might be paying too high of a rate. It’s just math. Maybe your credit score has improved and you can now get a better rate. Or maybe you got a bad rate to begin with and can do better. You won’t know unless you review your credit report.
- Spot identity theft – The biggest impact to your finances (in addition to saving you from buying aspirin in bulk) is spotting an identity thief. If someone has set up credit in your name, the quickest way to spot it is by reviewing your credit report. (“Hey, I don’t have a Macy’s account! Where did that come from?”)
The bottom line is simple: if you haven’t looked at your credit report in the past year, do so now. It could save you money. Hanscom FCU members can receive a free credit score review, including one-on-one time with a professional who can explain how to read it.