NATIONAL CREDIT EDUCATION MONTH
National Credit Education Month in March provides opportunities to brush up on your finance skills. First, check your credit score and find out why it’s necessary to keep a clear credit report. Even more importantly, find out how to improve it.
Financial institutions use credit reporting agencies to verify you are worth the risk of loaning money or opening a credit card. The three major reporting bureaus are Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Scores range from Very Poor (300-579) to Exceptional or Excellent (800-850), depending on the reporting agency.
What Affects Credit Scores
- Amount of debt you carry – Paying off the amount you charge to your credit cards each month helps to improve this amount. Showing that you are reducing debt each month gradually increases your score over time.
- Age of credit history – The older your credit history (and the longer it is in good standing) shows a trend toward reliable financial status.
- Reports to collections agencies – Notify the credit agency immediately if you find any inaccurate reporting on your credit report. The sooner you resolve an inaccuracy, the quicker the agency can correct the report. Obtain a letter from the collection agency once you have been able to confirm the error and submit it to all the credit reporting agencies.
- Late payments – Any time you make a late payment, especially on a credit card or loan, will be reflected on your credit report. Pay early, pay on time. If you use your online banking system to make payments, remember to review your bank’s turn-around time for payments. Take their delays into account and schedule accordingly to avoid any late payments.
- The number of hard inquiries for credit – When considering a loan for a car or house, remember that each inquiry will be registered on your credit report. When your credit is in good standing, these inquiries do not have as significant an impact on your credit report.
- The number of accounts – Opening and closing accounts impact your credit score. Depending on the number of accounts, the impact on your score could be huge.
Throughout the month, take steps to learn more about handling credit. Take steps to improve your credit score and gauge how you are doing.
HOW TO OBSERVE #CreditEducationMonth
Credit Education Challenge
- Guess what you think your credit score is.
- Find out your credit score by using a free credit monitoring program
- Calculate the interest of that much-desired item if you plan on charging it or taking out a loan. Knowing the additional cost may sway you to save and pay cash.
- Correct any errors or tackle any surprises on your credit report right away.
Use #NationalCreditEducationMonth to share on social media.
NATIONAL CREDIT EDUCATION MONTH HISTORY
Credit Professionals International and Credit Education Resources Foundation sponsor National Credit Education Month.