Understanding your credit report & score

Woman and man checking their credit report and score.

Many of us know what our credit score is—but how did we get there? Find out how your credit report and score work, and how you can access, review, and improve your credit.

Get your credit report

First thing’s first: It’s important to regularly review your credit report to see where you stand. All credit bureaus are required to provide an annual free copy of your report. Here’s how to request your free copy (it’s the only website authorized by the federal government).

Dig into the numbers

Think of it like a report card for your finances. This video can help you break down the numbers to make sure your credit report is accurate.

Check for errors

While some mistakes won’t hurt your credit, others can have a big impact. Keep an eye out for these three most common credit report errors.

Find an error? The reporting process depends on the type of error, but can be completed online or by mail in most cases. Get tips on how to report an error.

Understand your credit score

Your credit score compares a variety of financial factors, using info from your report. Higher scores typically mean easier loan approvals and lower interest rates.

Improve your score

Good credit scores are usually at or above 700. Not quite there yet? Here are some dos and don’ts for improving your credit score.

Stay on top of it

Check your credit report at least once a year. Knowing your credit situation—and how you can maintain or improve it—can help you head down the right financial path.

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