How to check your credit score should be fairly easy. You just have to know where to look.
What is a credit score? A credit score is just a number that tells the lender whether you’re able and responsible enough to pay back a debt. Whether you’re buying a house or buying a car using a loan, you need to check your credit score to make sure it’s good enough so you can get the best loan rate possible. You can get a free annual credit report from the 3 credit bureaus, but they don’t contain your credit score. Here’s how to check your credit score.
Related: Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Loan
1. Use a Free Credit Score Service
Credit Sesame is one of the reputable free credit score services out there where you can get free credit report and a free credit score.
Click here to check your credit score with Credit Sesame. It’s completely, 100% FREE.
2. Pay to Get Your Credit Score
Another way to check your credit score is to pay for it through a website called myFico. With myFico, you get your credit score straight from the sources (the 3 credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, TransUnion).
3. Check Your Credit Score Through Your Bank
A third way to check your credit score is through your bank. Many banks offer a free credit service to their customers. Check your bank to see if that service is available to you and take advantage of it.
Remember to always know your credit score before you start applying for a loan. This way if your score is low, you can takes steps to raise your credit score.
Tips on How to Improve Your Credit Score
Pay your bills on time. This is by far the best way to improve your credit score by paying your bills on time. According to myFICO, payment history accounts for 35 percent of your credit score. So it’s important avoid making late payments.
Make sure your credit utilization on your credit cards is below 30%. Your credit utilization is the balance on your credit cards when compared to your credit limit. The lower that balance is, the higher your credit score will be. A good rule of thumb is to stay at or below 30%. For example, if you have a credit card with a credit limit of $10,000, don’t use more than $3000 on that card.
Avoid hard inquiries on your credit. When you check your credit score using a free service like CreditSesame, that will not harm your credit score. However, when you apply for a new credit like a credit card or apply for a rental apartment, that is a hard inquiry. Several hard inquiries may negatively impact your credit score.
If you use these three strategies above, you can be on your way to get the highest credit score.
In sum, your credit score will affect your interest rate. So, it’s important to know what your credit score is before you apply for a mortgage loan.
Related articles about credit scores:
- How to Raise Your Credit Score to 850
- 3 Things Mortgage Lenders Will Hate About Your Credit Report
- 6 Ways to Build Credit Without a Credit History
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