How to Check Your Credit Score or Credit History
If you’ve been using credit for a while, it’s important to have some idea of your credit score and credit history. If you don’t, you’re just one of many people who are in a similar situation. Credit history and credit score are very important aspects of personal finance, yet most people have no idea where they stand. Not sure if you have a credit history or credit score? If you’ve ever borrowed money in any capacity – credit cards, student loans, car loans, etc. – you have both. Below we’ll give you a better idea of what each is, as well as how to check your credit score and view your credit history.
Your credit history is a summary of your borrowing activity, used to gauge your reliability as a borrower. It’s essentially a report that documents all of your loan and credit history. It includes information on:
- The date you began borrowing
- Late payments and non-payments
- The amount you owe
- If you exceed your credit limit
- Public record information, such as bankruptcy
- Credit Score
A credit score is a number that is assigned to you based on your credit history. A good credit history will receive a high credit score, whereas poor credit history (non-payments or late payments) will elicit a low score. This score is considered by many lenders in the loan approval process. The lower your credit score is, the higher risk you are to lend money to. Thus, individuals with a higher credit score will have an easier time obtaining a loan. In the United States, scores range from 300-850, with 700+ considered a strong score.
How to Check Your Credit Score
To check your credit history, you can request a report for free from AnnualCreditReport.com, though they do not provide you with a credit score. You can purchase your credit score from services such as Equifax, though a small fee is required. It’s important to obtain this information so you know where you stand when you apply to borrow money.