October 15th is Get Smart About Credit Day, when banks across the nation work with young adults on responsible credit habits. It’s an excellent opportunity to review our own credit and habits.
Your credit history and credit score can have a lasting impact. Many employers now look at credit histories while reviewing applications for potential employees.
Due to the financial difficulties of COVID-19, all three credit bureaus-Equifax, Transunion and Experian-are allowing free weekly online credit reports through April 2021. Federal regulations allow you to only get a free credit report yearly, so be sure to take advantage of this opportunity! You can request copies of your credit reports for free from www.annualcreditreport.com.
What should you look for?
When reviewing your credit reports, make sure the addresses, accounts, and your social security number matches, upon most current information. If your social security number is incorrect, there is an account or loan you do not recognize, or you feel a date or late payment is incorrect, contact the business that issued the credit, or the credit bureau, and report the potential error.
Your Credit Score
Did you know your score varies between credit bureaus? Creditors do not always report to all three bureaus, some report to one or two. Each bureau has a specific formula to determine your score based on the information received by them. When you view your credit report, you will likely see slight variations between your scores.
Largest contributors to your credit score
Your payment history and current credit balances impact over half of your score. If you make late payments or carry balances on your credit cards, your score will be impacted more, and it could lower your score. Maxing out or having outstanding balances of more than half of your available credit can also have a negative impact.
Reviewing your credit report annually, keeping all payments current and paying off balances will help you stay ahead with your credit. If you are having difficulty making payments, contact your lender or credit card company for options. Banner Capital Bank now offers Consumer and Business credit cards, which can be used to establish or further credit for those with limited or insufficient credit history. Contact your local branch for more information.