Checking Your Credit Report Can Help Your Credit Score, Say Chicago Bankruptcy Attorneys
You generally pay the bills on time, you make sure not to exceed your credit limit and you haven't opened any new credit card accounts lately. You must have decent credit then, right?
Not necessarily. Don't get me wrong - it certainly sounds like you're doing a good job. But there's only one way to know for sure: You have to check your credit report. It sounds easy enough, but it's a step most Americans don't take. And that's a shame, because it can be a virtually effortless way to improve your finances.
How would you like to be stuck paying a higher interest rate because someone made a reporting error? Or get turned down for a loan because somebody stole your identity and wrecked your credit - and you didn't know about it? Those are both common scenarios that can be stopped by keeping close tabs on your credit.
Maybe you haven't checked your report out of fear -you know you've made some mistakes and you just can't bear to see them staring you in the face. But that's exactly why you should be keeping close watch on your credit. Raising your credit score just a few points can change your life.
Most people are familiar with the FICO, which ranges from 300 to 900. Say your FICO is just below 650, a common cutoff for being considered a risk. Here, you'll likely get stuck with the highest interest rates and subprime mortgages. If you can inch your score towards 700, though, you could pay less interest on your credit cards and get more affordable loans. Wondering how? Just look to your credit report. It will show you where you're getting dinged, whether it's too many late payments, too many exceeded credit limits or a reporting error that needs correcting.
To get your credit report, go to a reputable site like Annualcreditreport.com. By law, you're allowed one free annual report from each of the credit bureaus - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion - and Annualcreditreport.com is a federally authorized source. For a few extra dollars, you can view your score - but it's not necessary if you simply want to check your credit history.
And remember, if debt has ruined your credit score, bankruptcy is a way you can recover. To find out more, sign up for our free debt analysis, an hour-long session with a professional bankruptcy attorney in Chicago or Atlanta. Put your credit score to work for you.