Individuals did not know about the existence of credit scores until recently, forget that they would know the impact Highmark credit score or Experian credit score had upon your credit card applications. However, current growth in the digital sector and an enhancement in awareness regarding personal finance topics have ingrained curiosity amongst individuals to grab knowledge about money management. Today, individuals are reading articles, following the personal finance blogs and asking relevant questions on forums to understand how banks and financial institutions work and what their investment options etc are.

Such new learning has brought in the info on credit scores. However, there is a lot to be learned concerning this topic. Most are just content with reviewing their credit score. They hardly check their credit report, which is nothing but a real treasure trove of info concerning their credit history. Like many, in case you too are learning about what credit score is, then this article can assist you along the path. Here, you can understand what a credit score is.

Listed here are major things you must know before you check your credit score

∙       Look for errors in your report

∙       Check for any signs of identity theft

∙       Check your account info

Ensure there are zero errors in reporting by the lender

You must review your credit report at least a couple of times each year. Checking your credit score once each quarter is recommendable and can be beneficial, particularly before you apply for a credit card or loan. It is because when you place your credit application, lenders first check your credit report/score. Thus, you must ensure that you hold a strong credit score and that there are zero errors in your credit report that can result in application rejection.

An error-free credit report shows a credit score of 750 and more. This can assist you in availing of a loan option, which is feature-loaded. There is an excellent chance that your lender may make a mistake in reporting your transaction info in the past.

∙       Initial thing you must do is read the entire report.

∙       Check for outstanding credit card and loan amounts. You may have cleared your amount, but it might not show up in your report. This requires being corrected as early as possible as it can reduce your credit score.

∙       When you view an error or mistake in your personal address, data, outstanding balance etc., instantly report this to your credit reporting bureau (Equifax, CIBIL, HighMark, and Experian). Also, communicate with your lender, bank and creditor who reported the incorrect info. You can raise the dispute with the bureau for rectification.

It is crucial to maintain a good credit score so that you can have a good financial future. This assists you in availing of credit on the best terms from banks and financial institutions.

Check for duplicate or stolen identities.

Identity theft is prevalent these days. A way to keep yourself thoroughly safe from identity theft is by simply changing your credit card PINs and net banking passwords. You can simply check for fraudulent activities in your credit report by looking at the report’s enquiry section. For example, in case there is an application for a loan reported in your report not initiated by you, then you can report this. What you require looking for while checking for frauds are:

∙       Loan account not initiated by you

∙       Inquiries for credit that you did not make

∙       Defaults or late payments that you did not make

∙       Incorrect address and other identifying info

∙       Incorrect phone number

On suspecting an identity theft case, report this to your credit bureau that issued the credit report and notify the bank instantly.

Review your account info

The majority of the info in your credit report is your account info. You require doing the following:

∙       Examine your accounts – ensure to check your credit card and loan accounts.

∙       Cross check your credit card limit, payment history and current balance.

∙       Ensure to note the accounts that are inactive or closed

∙       Make late payments

∙       Review your active loans & credit cards

∙       Organize the documents linked with accounts to keep all your details so that you can easily track it

Dispute the resolution procedure

∙       Read your credit report and spot the errors

∙       Submit the online dispute form at the relevant website

∙       Relevant section is marked as under dispute

∙       Credit bureau will take up this matter with the concerned lender. The lender then will reject or accept the dispute

∙       When a dispute is accepted by the bank lender, correction is done

∙       And the under-dispute remark is removed from the section

Turnaround time for dispute resolution is thirty days. Make sure you have all relevant proof before deciding to file the complaint. Knowing how you must check your credit score info and interpret your credit report is an extremely crucial skill that you must have. This offers invaluable insights into your credit profile and allows you to better understand your credit score. Thankfully, the provision to review your credit score has made this a lot easier. Earlier, your credit report was just accessed when availing credit, making it extremely difficult to monitor. It is no longer a restriction, and you must use such online services to make sure that your finances remain healthy.

However, despite this, many will just check your credit score info when examining your report. This is not adequate as the credit report has various other important info fields. To know what you must look for and make sure nothing is overlooked, remember to follow the above-listed parameters when reviewing your credit report.

In case you are doubtful about reviewing your credit score for fear of reducing it, just relax! It will not cost you a penny. In fact, you become eligible to receive one free credit report each year from every credit bureau of India – Experian, CIBIL, CRIF Highmark and Equifax. However, if you think the only time you require checking your score is when placing the loan application, think again! Having a score of 750 plus is one of the best ways to enhance your loan eligibility when applying for a feature-loaded personal loan or credit card.