You might have heard the buzz words about learning your credit score and why it is so important. If you are reading this as a college student, good for you! Take this time to learn what a Credit Score and Credit Report is. Once you tackle it, you can read the next article about why your credit score is so important!
What is a Credit Report?
A credit report is what the lenders are looking at. It shows any amount you have ever owed in your name. This includes student loans, credit cards and much more. The credit report details all money that has ever been borrowed and payments you have made for the last 7-10 years. While you are in college, you probably don’t have this much financial history, but it is good to know these numbers as it will affect you for at least the next 7-10 years.
It is important to know that 50% of credit reports have mistakes. So if you do have any credit history, it is important to read your credit report so you can verify that your report does not have any mistakes.
What is a Credit Score?
Once you have found your Credit Report, you can now learn about your Credit Score. Your credit score is often called a FICO Score. This stands for Fair, Isaac and Company, the company that created it. Your FICO score is out of 850 and anything over 700-750 is considered EXCELLENT. Chances are as a college student, your credit score is non-existent as you don’t have much, or any, financial history. But if you are reading this article, it means that you are taking an active role in your finances and want to build it up!
A low credit score means that you can be denied credit cards, not get a job you have applied for plus much more. With that being said, don’t get discouraged if you have found out your credit score and it is low. You can easily raise it. We will discuss that in another article coming soon!
Galia is an independent personal financial expert with more than 18 years of experience in financial services, including nearly 10 years on Wall Street and an MBA in Finance from Fordham University. She runs her own company, Down to Earth Finance, where she offers individual sessions and seminars to address personal financial needs and concerns. Galia is the author of, “My Money Matters”, a boxed set of financial cards with money affirmations, instant money tips and workbooks.