Credit and How to Manage It
What is Credit?
Credit refers to your credit history. Your credit history describes how you spend your money which can include factors such as:
- How many credit cards you have
- How many loans you have
- Do you make credit card and or loan payments on time
Why does your credit matter?
Your credit history will help lenders determine if they want to do business with you as well as what interest rate to charge you. The better your credit history, the more likely lenders will be willing to work with you.
What is a credit score?
A credit score compiles all the information that is available in a credit report and it helps predict how likely you will pay off a loan and make your payments on time.
Your credit score takes into account how much money you owe, whether you have made payments on time in the past, how long you have had credit, how much new credit you have, and if you have asked for new credit recently.
How do I access my credit report and credit score?
You have the right to get a free copy of your credit report from the three major credit bureaus (Transunion, Equifax, and Experian) at annualcreditreport.com
- NOTE: through April 2021 you may get a credit report each week from all three credit bureaus
Some financial professionals recommend staggering your credit requests through out the year (ex: requesting a credit report every 4 months from a different credit bureau)