As you build your credit, you may be wondering who sees your credit score.
And here’s the answer: banks, landlords, potential employers, credit card companies, and mortgage lenders may view your credit score.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act only allows creditors and lenders with a “permissible purpose” to view your credit score (Egan 2019).
Why is My Credit Score So Important?
Your credit score is important because creditors and lenders will determine your interest rates.
Your current credit score is usually the determiner of whether or not you receive a loan or new line of credit.
The credit score is a hallmark of how well you pay back what you owe to creditors and lenders. The higher your credit score, the better the chance that you will receive
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I Don’t Have a Credit History! What Can I Do?
If you do not have a credit history, do not fret. There are two options that you can try. To buy a home in Houston, Texas, a great credit score will go a long way for you.
First, if you want a loan, you can co-sign with a trusted family member or friend that has a great credit score. Once you pay off this loan, you will qualify for more lines of credit or loans in the future.
The second option would be to get a credit card that requires a security deposit. The credit card company would feel more comfortable with this arrangement because they can use a portion of your security deposit to cover the payment.
Successfully completing one or both of these options will increase your credit score so that you can eventually rent a home or apartment on your own or apply for a home mortgage.
If I Check My Credit Score, Will it Change?
No, checking your credit score yourself will not negatively impact it. It is good to check your credit score at least once a month to catch any possible issues such as credit card fraud, payment defaulting, or late payment reports.
The only time your credit score will be impacted if lenders, creditors, and landlords run your credit. These credit checks are called soft inquiries so they will not affect your score that badly at all.
Does My Income Affect My Credit Score?
Income and salary is not included on your credit score report.
Lenders and creditors want to be sure you have enough income to cover your loan expenses. Hence, your monthly income also plays a part in financing decisions.
You’ll have to usually make a minimum amount of monthly income along with a commendable credit score to be approved for financing applications. Start small with lower loan amounts and smaller lines of credit before pursuing “the big boy” financing ventures.
Is Closing Old Credit Cards a Good Idea?
Try not to close off old credit cards. Having a higher credit amount for a longer span of time helps to increase your credit score.
You will have a more positive line of credit by keeping old credit cards open, using 30% of the balance or less, and paying it off as soon as you can. Keeping a small balance on the card lets future creditors or lenders know that you’re still making proper use of your credit.
Why Do I Have More Than One Credit Score?
There are a variety of credit reporting companies that lenders or creditors or landlords can use to check your credit score. The most popular ones are Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.
Sometimes, not all information about your credit line is reported to every single credit reporting company. Therefore, this is why your credit score may be different across these three popular credit reporting companies.
Do not get upset if you see multiple credit scores across the different reporting companies. Take the average of all three scores to get a good idea of the average credit report score that lenders and creditors see.
Credit itself can be convoluted and confusing for first-time borrowers. Take your time to learn how you can build your credit to be able to finance your dreams faster.
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