If I asked you for the following numbers, would you be able to accurately give them to me off the top of your head?
- Your phone number?
- Your social security number?
- Your date of birth?
- Your credit score?
Chances are, the first three numbers came to you easily. But that last one . . . that one is a little trickier. You might have an idea of what you think your credit score is, but you probably aren’t 100% certain. Would your guess be within 10 points? Or even 50? 100?
A recent study revealed that around 47% of Americans don’t know their own credit score. This is partly because getting your score isn’t always easy. You are entitled to one free copy of your credit report per year (which you can access at annualcreditreport.com), but it doesn’t report your score. Americans typically find out their score when applying for credit.
However, there’s another reason people don’t know their credit score – they don’t want to! A lot of consumers are concerned that their credit score is low or problematic, so they just avoid finding out what it is. They say ignorance is bliss, but it can also be costly. Low credit scores can significantly increase the cost of financing, or limit your access to credit all together. Knowing you have a low credit score isn’t fun; it can be embarrassing, it can remind you of financial hardships, and it can be frustrating. But at least if you know what your score is, you can start taking steps to improve it! If you hide from your score and try not to think about your bad credit, chances are it won’t just disappear, no matter how much you wish it would.
So here’s where my plug for my credit union comes in . . . Throughout the month of June, Casco Federal Credit Union is hosting a Free Credit Report Month. Stop into any location and we will spend 15 minutes helping you with your credit report. Not only will you get FREE access to your score and a copy of your report, but a Member Service Representative will also take the time to go through your credit history with you to help you understand what it means. They can tell you if your score is high, low, or average. They can help you search for and report errors. They can help you identify problem areas. And most importantly, they can help you take steps to improve your score!
So don’t be shy! Don’t be embarrassed by a potentially bad score! We don’t judge. Finding out your score is the first step to making your credit work for you. Check out our website for more info on Free Credit Report Month.