I do a personal financial review each year to make sure my finances are in order. My first step is to order a free credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com. This is the government sanctioned website, not the website from the commercials. There you will find information on ordering your report online or by mail – whichever is most convenient for you. If they ask you to pay a fee for your report, then you’re at the wrong site.
When you have the actual report in front of you, take some uninterrupted time and read what it says about you. Is it all correct, or is there something that does seem right to you? If you do find an error, gather the information you need to dispute the item so that it will be corrected.
Having misinformation on your credit report gives potential creditors the wrong impression. This can result in being declined for credit or being given less than favorable terms which will cost you more money.
You may have noticed that the free report didn’t include your score. If you want to know your score, you’ll need to buy it. Personally, I rely on the FICO score since that is the industry standard. To purchase your FICO credit score, go to MyFICO.com – it’s $16.00. Remember, this isn’t a permanent score! Your FICO score will change every time your creditors update your report.
Watch for our next article: Where Is Your Money Going?
About the author: Jill Russo Foster is the author of Cash, Credit, and Your Finances: The Teen years. She provides practical tips for every day finances. Learn more about protecting your credit and living within your means, with Jill’s popular free reports and bi-monthly ezine, available here ==> www.cashcreditandyourfinances.com