Tips from a lending expert:

The weeks tip involve “Things you Need to Know about YOU”                                          

Know Your Credit Score and What it Means:

When applying for credit, lenders will check your credit score to see how good it is. But what exactly is a credit score; how is it calculated; and why is this number so important?

A credit score is a number that strongly indicates to lenders and creditors how likely you are to pay back the debt you owe, based on your past borrowing behavior. The higher your score, the more likely you are, in their eyes, that you will pay back the money you borrow.

Your credit score is used to determine whether you can obtain credit for things like: a credit card, a loan to buy a house or car, or a loan to start a new business. Not only that, it is used to determine what kind of loan you qualify for, how much credit you qualify for and what your interest rate will be.

Check Your Credit Report Regularly: 

Credit reports, which determine you credit score, can contain mistakes or outdated information.  If you know your score to begin with, you can determine if it has been negatively impacted.  Then check the credit report to see why and take steps to restore the score you deserve before applying for a loan or a credit card. 

Since the FACT Act (Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act) was passed, residents are entitled to view their credit report from each of the three credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax) for free once every 12 months. It’s a good idea to check your credit report regularly so you can correct any errors that appear on your report or if you’ve been the victim of identity theft.

For a free annual credit report (this will not include your credit score), log in to http://www.annualcreditreport.com/.  To remedy inaccuracies, call the customer-service departments of the companies that have supplied the incorrect information. 

It’s generally recommended to request a free copy of your credit report from one bureau every four months so that you can keep an eye on your credit more often than just once a year.

To get your credit score, go to www.myfico.com.  A report from one of the three credit bureaus costs around $15; a score from all three cost around $45.  A score of 650 to 700 on the FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) scale, the most commonly used credit-score system, is considered average.