How to read your credit report

How to read your credit report

(WWBT) - Your credit score impacts everything you do - getting an apartment, buying a car, a house, etc.

It's so intertwined in your daily life that you might not realize it, which is why it's time to make sure you've got it on the right track in the new year.

There are three credit bureaus: Experian, Transunion, and Equifax. You can pull your credit report for free from each of these bureaus once a year. That means you can check your credit three times a year for free.

One of the first things you want to do is to make sure that the information on the credit report itself is correct, such as your name, employers, address, etc.

Then you're going to look to see if there are accounts of delinquency, which are the accounts in your name where you owe money to some else.

Cherry Dale with the Virginia Credit Union says those are going to pop up first on your credit report, "and those are really important because those will impact your credit score the most. So, if consumers want to get a handle on making sure that their credit score is good, they want to take care of those delinquent accounts."

You also have to look for mistakes. Accounts you did not open are big red flags. You want to contact the credit bureaus directly, but you also want to contact whoever holds the debt.

It can be quite difficult to change any wrong information on your report, but it's so important to start the process immediately. Be diligent and thorough.

The Virginia Credit Union is holding a free seminar on this very topic on Feb. 8 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Virginia Credit Union at 7500 Boulder View Drive. They will look at an actual credit report and dissect it.

Teachers will show you the different sections. They will point out what's important and what to you should be looking for on your own report.

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