Hanscom Federal Credit Union offers free credit report and score evaluations because we know how much money they can save our members. More importantly, our credit report experts will give you specific actions you can take to improve your credit report, raise your credit score, and avoid credit problems in the future.
If you've never reviewed your credit report before, here's a peek at what will happen during the meeting:
First, you will have a chance to look at your credit report. This is the very same report that lenders use to make decisions on loan applications.
While you're reviewing your report, we'll show you how to locate your credit score. “Your score is based on payment history, capacity, how long you have had credit, how much debt you have accumulated in the last 12 to 18 months, and the type of credit in your report,” explained Joan Daly, manager of Hanscom Federal Credit Union's MITRE Bedford branch.
The score you'll be looking at is not the same score you'll get from a credit monitoring website, however. They use a different score, often called a FAKO score, designed for consumers rather than lenders. It can vary quite a bit from the FICO score used by a lender. Plus, these websites are generally supported by advertisers, which will open the door to credit offers and promotional emails based on your credit profile.
Next, we'll study your credit summary profile. Here’s where you’ll find all the records that support your score. If you missed a payment or applied for credit in the previous 24 months, it will show up here. You can also see your total credit card balance, the percent of available credit, and your oldest credit line in this section.
Under the profile is a list of score factors. They explain what is affecting your score. Maybe a late payment is dragging you down, or you're maxed out on too many credit cards. There’s a bit of financial jargon within these factors, but it's easily translated into straightforward language by our credit report experts.
The majority of the remaining pages list every loan or line of credit you have had in the past seven years. You can see the type of loan, the lender, payment history, your current balance, the minimum (or monthly) payment, and whether the account is inactive or closed.
At the end of the report is a list of inquiries. If you’ve applied for a credit card, mortgage, vehicle loan, or any other credit, you'll be able to see the company, the date you applied, and the type of credit for which you applied. Some inquiries might be grouped together, such as multiple inquiries for a mortgage.
Joan explained how she helps people understand the total picture of their credit. “Many people don’t want to know, but I tell them knowledge is power,” she said.
She shared that she some people avoided bankruptcy after taking her advice. “Sometimes getting a complete picture of their credit motivates people to take action,” she noted. “I’ve seen some amazing things happen.”
This information is a goldmine for people who want to improve their chances of qualifying and getting a good rate on a loan or mortgage. It can also reassure you that your credit is accurate, and that there are no fraudulent accounts on your report. Although you may be nervous about seeing what's on your report, most people report feeling relieved once they've reviewed it...especially because they walk away with specific steps they can take to make their next credit review even better!
Get your credit checked once a year by one of our experts. It’s free, and takes about five minutes. Especially if you're thinking of applying for a mortgage or car loan... a credit review could be your ticket to lower borrowing costs and better financial stability.
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