Your credit report, and by association, your credit score, can have a pretty serious impact on your life. And that’s why you want to make sure that you understand exactly what this means, and how to get that credit report. You should check it at least yearly, and at any given point, you should know roughly what your number is.
And some topics related to this central focus are going to include understanding the basics of credit reporting in the first place, how to dispute errors, why you should pay off credit card bills every month, how it can affect applications for renting, and why you should always watch out for scams.
What Does It Mean?
Reading about credit reports online is going to be your first step. Especially if you’re younger or just starting to use credit – just out of high school, or heading to college, for instance – knowing what credit reports are ahead of time may prevent you from making some classic mistakes that the youth of today are getting trapped in. Simple spending habit formulations can save you a lot of trouble later.
And after you have your first actual credit reports in hand, you’ll be checking them over. And that’s your first opportunity to find out there’s a credit report error that you need to dispute. This is a super common occurrence, so it’s nothing to lose sleep over – but you do have to take care of it in the proper manner as soon as possible. If you have to use that credit report number for something while it’s still got that error on it, it can set you back in many administrative occasions.
Paying Off Credit Card Bills
The single best way to always have a good credit report score is to pay off credit card bills every month. Use your card as much as you want, but be sure to always keep a balance of close to zero. The closer you come to this goal consistently, the better your financial history is going to look.
Applications For Renting
When you apply to rent apartments or houses in certain situations, your potential landlord may check your credit rating. This is to see if you’re financially responsible, as well as determining to a degree what kind of consistent funds that you have (they’ll also usually ask for proof of income).
Watch Out For Scams
There are a lot of scam sites out that where you have to pay to get your credit score. Once a year, you can get your credit reports for free, and this is all you ever need to do. Some banks do have additional perks where you can check your scores for free every once in awhile through them as well.