In 2020, our financial lives revolve around our credit scores. Want to buy a car? Better have good credit! Want to lease a house? Good credit is a must. Applying for a new credit card? You’d best hope your credit score is high enough.
Every major financial decision, every major monetary transaction, every purchase is influenced by this fickle, mysterious number. But what exactly is a credit score? And how can you find out what your credit score is? Let’s look at what a credit score is, and how you can check yours!
In short, a credit score is a complete history of a person’s financial history. If a person has ever been late on a car payment, it will show up on their credit score. If they’ve ever defaulted on a loan, their credit score will show it. If they have credit card debt, it will affect the magic number. Essentially every time you’ve ever borrowed money in any way, shape or form, how you handle that responsibility will affect your credit score.
There are a variety of available options when it comes to checking your credit score. There are three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You can get one free report from each of these bureaus per year, and additional reports if you believe you may have been a victim of credit fraud or have been rejected on the basis of poor credit.
The most important caveat with this method of checking your credit score is that it does not actually provide you with a credit score. There a variety of methods to check this, such as using a proprietary tool provided by your credit card company, but the easiest and most reliable method is to use a service like Credit Karma or Credit Sesame. These services utilize the newer VantageScore 3.0 scoring model, which provides heightened accuracy and precision. Best of all, these services are free!
If you want to learn more about how credit scoring works, and how you can improve your credit score, you can find helpful information on The Official Real Estate Agent Directory®.