Friday, March 21, 2008

What Does Your Credit Report Say about You?

There are few of us who have not experienced some really stressful financial times throughout our lives. The excessive credit card spending, medical bills or the loss of a job has put many of us in difficult financial situations.

Many times we are able are able to overcome these situations and recover from the financial problems that we find ourselves in. But there are also times for some of us that we are so far in debt that we cannot seem to get a head. The inability to pay our bills in timely manner has eventually left a mark on our credit score.

Put simply, a credit report is our financial report card – the history of our debt and spending and our track record when it comes to making on time payments. Lenders look at our credit report to determine if we are credit worthy and should be given a loan and at what interest rate that loan can be given at. Over the long run a good credit score can save you thousands. Do you know your score?

Our credit report is held by the three largest credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax; all three gather information regarding our financial health including amount of debt that we hold, any history of late payments, and any incidence of loan default. These factors together account for our credit score – a numerical value that is attached to our credit standing and is pivotal in our financial success.

A few years ago I started getting my yearly free credit report to help protect myself from identity theft and to keep an eye on my credit score. Annually checking the information on my credit report helps me manage any inaccuracies or changes to the information, and also lets me know of any suspicious activity. As an Illinois resident, you are entitled to one free copy of your credit report per year from the three credit reporting agencies. Click here for more information.

Knowing as we do that our credit score plays such a significant role in our lives we should all take the time to understand our credit and how our credit score is established. On Saturday, April 5th, Hawthorne is having a FREE credit reporting seminar at our Bolingbrook Brach from 10 am to 11 am. Click here for details.

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