You hear the words credit report and credit score on TV and see them printed in ads all the time. But do you know what they mean? While your credit report impacts your credit score the two are not one and the same. Your credit report is a /record/ of your credit past. People access it for various reasons: such as deciding whether to extend new credit to you, determine a change in your current interest rate, or offer you a job.
Your credit report lists all your current credit accounts, and past accounts held within the last seven years. It lists credit limits, the balance, and monitors your debt payments. It can contain information about monetary judgments or other financial legal actions, like bankruptcies. Make sure this information is correct so you don't miss out on a loan -- or a job --for which you qualify.
Start by going to www.annualcreditreport.com. This website -- and only this web site -- is set up by the government to allow you to obtain a free yearly report from each of the three major credit bureaus. You can order your reports all at once, or request one every four months. The latter
is the better option, since it allows you to monitor your credit more closely.
I will explain what a credit score, or FICO score is, tomorrow.