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Know Your Credit

By Ashleigh, K-Staff

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Do you know your credit score? And what’s the difference between your credit score and your credit report? Taking control of your credit starts with knowing the answer to these questions. 

How do I check my credit score?

Actually, you have more than one credit score! Your credit score is a simplified view of your credit, calculated by each of the three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.

Credit score service sites like CreditKarma.com can show you your score from all three bureaus at the same time. Many of these sites are free to you (funded by advertising) and others may charge a subscription fee. Be sure to read the details before signing up. 

Your credit score can also be found on your detailed credit report from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus.

Your credit score is a good way to quickly gauge your credit worthiness and track improvements. 

Take a look at this chart from Experian.com to see where your credit score would fall. 

Credit ScoreRating% of PeopleImpact
300-579Very Poor17.0%Credit Applicants may be required to pay a fee or deposit, and applicants with this rating may not be approved for credit at all.
580-669Fair20.2%Applicants with scores in this range are considered to be subprime borrowers.
670-739Good21.5%Only 8% of applicants in this score range are likely to become seriously delinquent in the future.
740-799Very Good18.2%Applicants with scores here are likely to receive better than average rates from lenders.
800-850Exceptional19.9%Applicants with scores in this range are at the top of the list for the best rates from lenders.

What's the difference between a credit score and a credit report?

Your credit score is derived from many different aspects of your credit report, the detailed history and culmination of your credit activities. Your report includes open lines of credit, mortgages, auto loans, payment history, bankruptcies, total debt utilization, and other details. 

Monitoring your credit report at least yearly can help you catch fraud and identity theft before it can do significant damage to your credit. See a line of credit that’s unfamiliar? You can contact the company and the credit bureau to protect yourself from further damage. 

You can get a FREE copy of your credit report annually at AnnualCreditReport.com.

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