Challenge Week 1: Check your credit report!

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It is really important to establish and maintain a strong credit history so that your credit score remains high.   If you haven’t checked your credit report in the last 12 months, it’s easy to request a free copy from each of the three major credit reporting agencies in the U.S. by visiting annualcreditreport.com. While credit reports are free, you will have to pay a fee to obtain your actual credit score.

Don’t forget to post a comment about what you found right here on One For Your Money and be entered for a chance to win a $50 iTunes card. See official rules here.

What is a credit report?

A credit report is basically a record of all your credit activities. It includes things like your credit card accounts, loans, payment history and balances.  It also contains information on any action taken against you for unpaid bills and inquires made by third parties such as a lender or insurance provider.  It’s also a good way to find out if someone has stolen your identity.  If you find an error(s) on your report, you will want to contact the credit reporting agency as soon as possible to get it corrected.

What is a credit score?

Credit scores are used to determine your credit worthiness and are used as an indicator of how much risk you are as a potential borrower.  In other words, how likely it is that you will pay your bills on time and pay your loans back.

There are three major credit reporting agencies in the U.S.:  Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.  All three employ a complex scoring system know as FICO (short for Fair Isaac Corporation, the company that developed the scoring system).  Each employs a slightly different weighting system, so your scores may not be identical, however in general, they should be in the same range.  The scores run from a low of 300 to a high of 850, with the median about 720.  Aim to keep your score about 700.

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 12:01 am 11 comments

Categories: Challenge 2011, Managing Debt, Money 101, Other Tips, Promos & Contests

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11 comments

  1. hgibson Says:
    April 5, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    I have NEVER checked my credit report, and was happy to notice that student loans get placed on your credit report the day you recieve them and are considered in good standing while you are in school (that was a pleasant surprise).

  2. Chibitenshi666 Says:
    April 5, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Much easier than I thought and not nearly as depressing. It is good to know that I aware of my credit status. Don’t know how my credit report looks though. Very curious about my actual score. It is rude that they want to charge for it. *scoff Glad I did it for sure. You should too. Hah That’s right I endorsed for you.

  3. Mary Johnson Says:
    April 10, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Kudos to those of you who have taken this week’s challenge and checked your credit report or pledged to soon. And thanks to our recent commenters for sharing their insights about the importance of staying on top of your credit history. If you haven’t commented yet but would like to, it’s not too late. Share your thoughts and you’ll also be entered for a chance to win an iTunes gift card!

  4. babyc65 Says:
    April 14, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    I do check my credit scores and report quite frequently. When I see a discrepency I notfy the creditor as well, as the credit reporting agency.

  5. cathlynn Says:
    April 14, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    I know this challenge is over but I did it anyway and it was very interesting to see that my credit wasn’t as bad as I thought. What a nice surprise!

  6. andrealindner@hotmail.com Says:
    April 17, 2011 at 2:23 am

    I check my credit once or twice a year, but I truly should do it more often. I think they should show the credit score for NO FEE. I think it should be the right of people to know what the score is since so many companies use it to judge and approve people. There should be no cost to find out where you are on the scale.

  7. bgarrett16 Says:
    April 20, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Fear of what might be said has kept me from doing this in the past. Fears realized! All three agencies said I may be a victim of identity theft. Thank you for the motivation to find this out.

  8. deedra.k Says:
    April 20, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    I am only nineteen and to see that my credit is as good as it is really made me feel good about myself cause i wasnt sure id beable to keep it like it is.

  9. ske0426 Says:
    April 22, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    I found it very interesting to see that there are 3 Credit Bureau Reports. I never realized that each of them may have different accounts that they list. I knew I had some Credit Issues and this really helped me understand what I need to do, in order to bring my SCORE up higher. It also allowed me to Dispute items that I had No Knowledge about. I recommend everyone to keep track of their reports.

  10. jfunk3 Says:
    February 17, 2012 at 1:30 am

    I haven’t checked my credit report in years. It’s reassuring to find that all is well.

  11. missedina Says:
    April 20, 2012 at 10:32 am

    I keep meaning to check mine. I haven’t since last year.

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