What’s a credit report?
A credit report shows your credit habits and history. It tracks how much debt you have and when you pay your bills. It may even show information about bills you may not think are related to your creditworthiness, like your utility or cable bills. Credit reports may also show whether you’ve been sued or declared bankruptcy.
You can request your credit report for free. There are three credit-reporting companies, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. You can access any of their reports through annualcreditreport.com. Although you can only request one free report from each company per year, it might be a good idea to stagger the requests rather than pull all three at once so you can monitor your credit throughout the year.
What is a credit score?
Think of a credit score as the rating you get based on your credit report. Credit scores are not free to obtain like credit reports, but the same three companies provide them. Scores are a three-digit number, and higher scores mean a higher likelihood that you’ll be approved for credit or a mortgage.
Scores can also vary based on the source providing it. For example, some credit card companies have started providing cardholders with a credit score as part of their benefits. While these scores can be helpful to track, they are only one tool for determining your creditworthiness and may be different than what a mortgage lender uses.
So what does all this mean?
Your credit report and your credit score are two important tools to keep track of when you’re thinking about renting a home or investing in property. But since the information you get from either can vary, it’s a good idea to work with a professional to understand your creditworthiness. Your REALTOR® and the folks at Pyramis Company can help you find all the tools and professionals you need to put you on the path to homeownership.