Checking In on your Credit

What to look for when checking your credit report

Regularly checking your credit report is an important part of your financial well being. If your credit report contains errors, it could hurt your credit score. And if your score is low, you could get rejected for mortgages, face high interest rates from credit card companies, and more. Be vigilant about checking your report. Here are some things to look for every time you review the file.

Outstanding Debts

One easy way to keep your credit score high is to always pay your bills on time. That’s why it’s important to check for delinquent accounts or past due bills on your credit report. When you spot any late bills, you can correct any inaccurate information and/or work to pay down the debt.

Credit Usage

Check your credit report for your credit utilization ratio, which shows how much of your available credit you’re currently using. You want your ratio to be below 30 percent. If it’s higher than that, your credit score could suffer.

Inquiries

Each time you apply for a loan or a credit card, you’ll get what is known as a “hard inquiry” on your report. Having too many of these inquiries will hurt your score. As USA Today notes, when checking your credit report, make sure you recognize the source of the inquiries. If not, report them right away. By paying attention to the details of your credit report, you’ll keep your finances as healthy as possible.

Chris O'Shea