Your credit report is considered to be a report of your financial reputation, or your financial report card. Every time you use your credit card or any other loan in some way, your transactions become part of your credit record, or your credit report.
A credit report literally keeps track of how you handle credit. For example, it tracks if you pay on time, and how much money you are currently borrowing, among other things. Lenders rely on these reports to determine whether or not you will repay your debts.
You are given an overall credit score, or FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) score, on your credit report. A median FICO score ranges from 690 to 740; this number is compiled using the following information (listed in order of importance):
- Payment history
- Amounts you owe
- Length of credit history
- New credit
- Types of credit used.
Using the FICO score will help a lender determine whether or not you will be approved for a loan as well as how much of a credit limit you will receive. Generally, the information in your credit history will remain on your credit report for seven years; however, if you file for bankruptcy, that information will stay on your report for up to 10 years.
You should always be aware of what is on your credit report. By Federal mandate, you have the option to go to www.annualcreditreport.com to receive a free copy of your credit report each year. Take advantage of being able to review your credit report annually and report any sort of discrepancy you may see.
Monitoring your credit report on a regular basis will help protect you from identity theft or other type of fraud, which will save you money and maintain your financial reputation in the future. Furthermore, the law requires the credit reporting agency to make corrections if an error is found.
Your credit report truly is your financial reputation. Take the steps needed to not only monitor your report, but improve your score if necessary. To learn more about your credit report, or to talk with one of our loan officers, call 800.446.2265.