College Finance

Your Credit Rating - Why you Need to Know the Score

In the world of money and credit, what you don’t know about your credit rating can really hurt you—especially when you go to refinance student loans, buy a car, or apply for a mortgage.

Maybe you paid all your bills on time — but you have a ding on your record from a college landlord who lost your check and reported you for a late payment (really).

Maybe you were the victim of identity theft — somebody’s been opening credit accounts using your name and social security number.

Don’t wait to find out you’ve got credit problems by being turned away for a loan. By then it’s too late.

There is a solution — and it’s 100% free.

The big credit reporting companies are required to give you a free credit report each year. All you have to do is order it from (Come on, it’s free.)

If something's not right, dispute it

If there are errors in your credit report, you can get them corrected by following the dispute resolution process described at Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

If your mistakes are showing, fix them

Your report may remind you of things you’ve forgotten — like a small credit card balance from your first year in college or a utility bill from a place you lived back then. Do what it takes to pay off those outstanding debts, and over time you’ll see your credit score getting back to where it’s supposed to be.

Created and compiled by Denise Eder, cuLearn and a talented writer/editor

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