Get Your Credit Check-Up
Whether you’re considering refinancing your home loan or just making sure your financial history is in order, performing a regular credit check-up is good practice. A healthy credit history pays off in the long run, especially when you want to qualify for a mortgage, sign up for insurance, or apply for a credit card.
To start your credit check-up, pull your credit report. Do this at least once a year – you can do it for free at annualcreditreport.com. Once you’ve pulled your report, there are two things to review:
- Credit history and balance information. Your credit report will show all your credit balances, how long you’ve had credit accounts, and whether you pay your bills on time. It will also tell you if you have any accounts (past or present) that were sent to collections or are part of a bankruptcy filing. Look over your report and check for errors. If you find any mistakes, contact the credit bureau to dispute the claim. Erasing inaccuracies from your credit report can positively impact your credit score immediately.
- Credit score. Your credit score is a three-digit number mathematically generated using information in your credit report. It ranges from 300 to 850 – the higher your score, the better risk you are to lenders. Your credit score is made up of your payment history, loan amount owed, length of credit history, type of credit used (revolving and installment), and any new credit received (or inquiries).
Your credit report and credit score are a critical part of your financial reputation. Financial institutions look at your information to determine whether or not they can trust you with a loan – and what type of rate they can offer. Typically, the higher your credit score, the lower your rate will be.
If you find your credit score is lower than you’d like, consider the following tips:
- Pay your bills on time.
- Pay more than the minimum balance or pay off your balance each month.
- Use less than 30 percent of your credit limit – whether credit cards or lines of credit.
For information about how to strengthen your credit score, or to see what loan options are available from WesBanco Bank, visit us online at www.wesbanco.com or stop by your local Banking Center.
Content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. The views expressed are those of the author.