Your credit report is a record of your financial history, including utilities and credit card payments, and any missed payments. A credit score is a tool used by lenders to help determine whether you qualify for a particular credit card, loan, mortgage or service and it matters.
It is recommended that you get your credit report from one of the three credit reference agencies lenders speak to when reviewing mortgage applications, loans etc and these are Experian, CallCredit and Equifax.
There are many reasons you should check your credit report and these include:
Applying for credit: If you are looking to get a mortgage or open a new bank account you should review your credit report and make sure everything is accurate and up to date. You may find that a mistake has been made which may lead to your actual credit score being affected. To solve this contact the company and provide them with proof so it can be corrected.
Changing your job or moving home: Lenders are not the only ones who may want to check your credit reports. Potential landlords or employers may ask to see parts of your report before they offer you a place or a job. Note, they must get your permission beforehand to see these details.
Protecting yourself against identify fraud: This is a fast growing crime in our day and age. If you have your credit report, it can help you spot any suspicious entries that someone could have made if you are to be a victim of identity fraud. Catching this early will make things easier to deal with.
There are a few different schools of thought when it comes to determining what a good credit score is so it can be tricky. However, most credit scores – including the FICO score (the most widely used score) and the latest version of the VantageScore – operate within the range of 301 to 850.
Keep in mind that these figures are not set in stone as each lender has their own criteria and what may be a good credit score for one, may not be for another.
If you’ve been turned down credit or feel that your credit score is inadequate there are steps you can take to improve it, we have listed a few of them below.