You may ask yourself why would I want it? Well, if you are in the market for a loan (mortgage, car, education, personal, etc.), or soon will be, the more you need to know about your financial profile. As part of their due diligence, loan providers will first request your credit report and more importantly these days, your credit score before making final determination on your loan request. The maximum credit score is 850, which is probably impossible to obtain by most people, including myself, and anything under 600 is considered a poor score. I’ve heard anything over 680 gets you in the playing arena for more credit options.
“Our research shows one of the biggest financial issues for service members is debt, specifically credit card debt”, says Gerri Walsh, acting president for the FINRA Investor Education foundation, which is sponsoring the free FICO credit scores.
To obtain your FICO score, you can find all the details at saveandinvest.org/military under the “Military Center” tab. Once you obtain your FICO score, the next step would be for you to get a copy of your annual credit report. The three credit bureaus (Equifax, Transunion, Experian) are required to provide you with a free credit report each every 12 months. So, what I recommend is for you to spread out the free reports throughout the 12 months, essentially, requesting one report every four months from one of the three credit bureaus. At the end of the 12 months, you would have checked your credit file through the year and been able to spot any inaccuracies allot sooner than once a year. The best source for obtaining your credit reports is annualcreditreport.com.
So use these two sites to get a better understanding of your financial picture or health throughout the year and borrow responsibly.
Question: Does anyone have a FICO credit score over 800 and if so, what’s your secret?