There’s just no way around it, unless you have a secret stash with thousands of dollars hidden somewhere or happen to be lucky enough to inherit a fortune, you’re going to need to buy some things with credit.
You should know your credit score. A loan company will check your credit score anytime you apply for a loan to use for higher education, a car, or home.
A number between 300 and 800 is determined by analyzing your credit files. The higher your score, the better your chances are that a loan will be approved. It also determines the amount of interest you pay.
Your credit score is increasingly being used by insurance companies to decide if they will give you coverage and if so, the amount you will pay for home and auto coverage.
Landlords use the score to determine how much of a security deposit they will require. Cell phone companies check your score when setting up a payment plan or to include a deposit.
Utilities checking your credit score may ask for a deposit, so you see how important knowing your score can be.
The FACT Act (Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act) passed in November of 2013 allows consumers to request a free credit report once every 12 months.
That is really helpful, but you still need to keep an eye on it the rest of the year. There are companies that will monitor your report daily and contact you when changes are made. They’ll even help you decipher the sometimes confusing report.
Your credit report will show your credit history. It does not include a credit score. It will include your identifying info like name, address, and social security number.
Companies you owe money to will report on time and late payments, credit limits, and balances.
Find a company that will monitor your report and send you alerts if someone tries to open an account in your name. This is a fantastic way to stop hackers and identity thieves in their tracks.
Keeping up to date on you credit is essential to your family’s financial well-being.