If you have ever applied for a loan, regardless of what it’s for you know that part of the process of being qualified is checking your credit report. This can help you or harm you, depending on your credit score. Lenders will determine what you are eligible for by how low or high your credit score is. The rates that they offer you are entirely dependent on your credit scores. If you are unsure about your credit score, it’s always a good idea to figure out how to check your credit report before applying for a loan; that way there are no surprises and your lender can get you the best possible rates
Advantages to checking your credit scores
There are a couple of advantages to checking your credit score before your lender does.
1. Studies have shown that many credit files contain small and large inaccuracies that can greatly affect your score; and even lead to a rejected loan application. For example, before I applied for a house loan my lender checked my credit report and it stated that I had two loans out for exactly the same thing; which I did not. It was all fixed, but it could have saved some time and humiliation had I just checked it myself.
2. By checking your credit report before you take it to a lender you are going in with your eyes wide open. If you have checked your credit report and know what kind of score you have you will have a much better idea of what to expect in terms of how much you could qualify for on a loan and what kind of rates you will be looking at.
Understanding your credit report can give you an advantage before you go in to talk with a lender. If you end up having great credit you might be able to negotiate better rates and a lower payment.
How to check your credit report
Checking your credit report used to be a nightmare; long lines and waiting on the phone were just a part of getting your credit score, not to mention the cost. Today however things have changed a bit. If you didn’t know this already, you (and every other person in America) are entitled to receive credit reports from each of the major credit bureaus every twelve months; but wait it gets better. You are entitled to receive one report from each credit bureau free. Doesn’t that sound nice? There are basically three ways to get a credit report:
1. By telephone- You can call an 800 number to receive your credit report. The number you will need is (877) 322-8228.
2. Postal Service- You can also request a free credit report using the postal service. All you have to do is fill out the back of the Annual Credit Report brochure and send it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA, 30348-5281. You can order reports from each of the credit bureaus all at once or separately throughout the year.
3. Online- The third way to receive your credit report is to get it online. This has proven to be the fastest and most convenient way to receive the credit report but you have to be careful that you don’t end up at some scam website. Instead of typing “free credit report” into the search engine, just go to www.annualcreditreport.com. This is the only website that has been authorized by the FTC to give out free credit reports.
Knowing how to check your credit report before applying for a loan can literally mean the difference between paying or saving thousands of dollars and lower interest rates. If you find out that your credit isn’t so great then you can hold off on the loan for a while and build it up.