What Is Credit?

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A person's ability to borrow money or to obtain goods for later repayment based on the person's credit worthiness and reliability.  Credit is a valuable financial asset to purchase a car, home, business, getting a job or obtaining a degree.

How is Credit used?

  • Employment
  • Background Checks
  • Garnishment, negative marks such as bounced checks and bankruptcy
  • Home Purchase
  • Auto Purchase
  • Loans
  • Applying for loans for school, home equity, etc.
  • Insurance Rates
  • Your credit information is used by insurance companies
  • Evaluates applicants and set premiums rates for Life, Auto, & Health insurance
  • Landlords- determines whom gets apartments
  • Utilities- determines if need deposit

Who Looks At Your Credit?

  • Employers
  • Insurance Companies
  • Banks
  • Landlords
  • Utilities

Making Good Credit Habits

  • Open a Checking and or Savings account with a bank. (look for a bank that will work with YOU!)
  • Have a good relationship with your bank.
  • Keep track of your expenses.
  • Open up a line of Credit. (credit card) (secured loan)
  • Set up direct deposit
  • Start a savings pattern
  • Avoid pawn shops, pay day loans and check cashing services.

Know Your Credit Profile

Pulling a credit report at least months before applying for a job provides time to build credit and correct and update information. A credit report is your financial resume.  It is your financial reputation with the world.

What Is A Credit Report?

  • Personal Information
  • Public Records
  • Inquiries
  • Trade Lines

Where Can I Get My Credit Report?

TransUnion: 888-397-3742

Equifax: 800-685-1111

Experian: 800-888-4213

  • You are entitled to your credit report for free annually!
  • Every 12 months from all three major credit reporting agencies
  • Your credit score is not included on your free credit report, although you may purchase your credit score. Or contact the Prosperity Center.
  • Call 877-322-8228
  • Go online to AnnualCreditReport.com
  • The Prosperity Center (509) 765-9206

Is Something Incorrect on Your Credit Report?

Write A Dispute Letter that includes:

  • A request that the information be removed or corrected.
  • Send your letter by certified mail, and request a “return receipt”.
  • Keep copies of your dispute letter and enclosures.

What is a Credit Score?

Credit Scores range from 300 to 850 depending on the credit bureau used. The credit score tells lenders how likely you are to default on a loan.  The HIGHER the number the better the risk you are.  By understanding how credit scores work, you can figure out what lenders are looking for and how you can improve your credit score. Improve your score by paying bills on time, securing a credit card, using it wisely and paying your credit card off in a timely manner.

Credit Scores

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