Vincenza Vicari-Bentley, AFC
Empowering Financial Wellness Program Coordinator III
One of the biggest myths about credit is that checking your credit reports can lower your credit score. It’s absolutely not true. Checking your own credit report is considered a “soft pull" which doesn’t affect your credit since you aren’t actually applying for a credit or loan, you’re just accessing your own information.
Do you ever wonder why your score goes up and down like a teeter totter? There are lots of moving parts of a credit score which is based on your credit report. Paying on time and how much of your available credit you're using from month to month accounts for about 65% of your score, the two largest factors used to calculate your score.
How can you get your free credit reports? The three nationwide credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — have a centralized website, toll-free telephone number, and mailing address so you can order your free annual reports in one place. These are the only ways to order your free annual credit reports:
Be sure to check your score before you apply for credit, a loan, insurance, or a job. That way if you find any errors you have time to correct them so you get the best chance to qualify for lower interest rates and better terms. If you find an error, contact the credit bureau that is reporting the information to have it corrected.
It’s free to pull all 3 of your reports once a year for free but since the start of the pandemic and through the end of 2023 you can actually check your credit reports for free once a week! Download or order your free credit reports today!
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