Why you need to check your credit report regularly

 

by CNNMoney | CNN

IT’S BEEN ALMOST SIX MONTHS SINCE EQUIFAX ANNOUNCED A MASSIVE DATA BREACH THAT EXPOSED THE PERSONAL INFORMATION OF AS MANY AS 145 MILLION AMERICANS.

So now’s a good time to ask yourself if you’re being proactive about protecting your financial health.

Not sure where to begin? Here are some tips, as well as other money news that matters to your wallet:

CREDIT REPORT VS CREDIT SCORE

First, let’s go over some lingo: credit report vs. credit score.

A credit report lists all your credit card accounts and loans, your payment history, and other personal financial information, including your Social Security number, date of birth and employment information. It also lists lenders that have pulled your credit.

A credit score is the three-digit number that represents your creditworthiness. It’s based on the information that’s in your credit report, and lenders use your score to determine whether to loan you money and at what terms. The better the score, the more likely you are to get a lower interest rate.

Here’s why your score is important, and three ways you could be messing it up.

CHECK YOUR CREDIT REPORT. SERIOUSLY.

Half of US adults haven’t checked their credit report or score in the last six months, according to a recent survey.

Experts say you should make checking your credit history and score part of your routine, reports CNNMoney’s Kathryn Vasel.

Taking a peek at your credit score is easy since some credit card companies include it on monthly statements.

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