Knowing your credit score and fixing mistakes can save you on interest

Knowing your credit score and fixing mistakes can save you on interest

There are many things which affect your credit score and most of them determine not only if you will get a loan but how much interest you will be paying.

Your credit score

The first step in getting a good rate on any loan is knowing your credit score. There are many ways to find your score but a good first step is to turn to the U.S. government for help.

Thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the three nationwide reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — are required by law to provide you with a free credit report once every 12 months. To get your free report, visit annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. You can request a report via mail by completing the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mailing it to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.

In order to get a free report, you will need to be ready to provide your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, “If you have moved in the last two years, you may have to provide your previous address. To maintain the security of your file, each nationwide credit reporting company may ask you for some information that only you would know, like the amount of your monthly mortgage payment. Each company may ask you for different information because the information each has in your file may come from different sources.”

What’s your score

Depending on the reporting agency, there is a range of what your score might be. Scores generally range from 300 to 850. The higher the score, the better chance of you getting a loan with a good interest rate. A good FICO score is used by many lenders to determine who gets a loan and how much interest is paid.

The ranges of the scores are:

  • 300-579 is very poor: applicants may be required to pay money up front and may not receive credit at all.
  • 580-669 is fair: applicants are considered subprime borrowers.
  • 670-739 is good: less than 10 percent of borrowers are expected to become seriously delinquent in the future.
  • 740-799 is very good: applicants will likely receive better than average rates on loans.
  • 800-850 is exceptional: applicants will get the best rates from lenders.

Problems with your report

Mistakes are made on credit reports so you should check yours yearly. If you find a discrepancy in your credit report, the first course of action should be to contact the reporting agency and get it worked out. The agencies are:

If all else fails, file a complaint about a credit reporting agency to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau online or by phone at 1-855-411-2372.

When you need help

When you need help moving into that new home or are upgrading to a bigger place, you may need legal help on your side. If you find yourself in need, contact the Pujol Law Group. The attorney group serves all of South Florida with a wide range of services to help you save money and ensure everything is done just right.

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