Do you know how to read your credit report?
Do you know where to find it?
These are common questions a lot of us have when it comes to accessing information about their credit score.
If you’ve been reading the other blogs here, then you know that your personal credit score is extremely important when it comes to building towards getting business credit.
But while you might know how important your personal credit is, you might not know how to do a credit analysis or how to take action against negative line items that are there.
Why a Credit Report Analysis is Crucial
So why exactly is doing a credit analysis so important?
Banks and other financial institutions use your credit score to decide if you’re a low or high risk for borrowing credit.
Doing an analysis of your credit allows you to see:
Your current credit score
Any derogatory marks
Accounts opened and closed
The latter of these helps to form the overall makeup of your credit score, so if your score is on the low side, it could be a combination of negative marks, late payments, collections, etc.
How to do a Credit Analysis on Your Credit Profile
The first step to doing a credit analysis is awareness – you need to know what’s on your credit file and you should always look at the most recent report and data.
While you can find your score from each credit bureau, the one that the banks always look at is your FICO score.
However, you should know what your VantageScore is as well and make sure that you’re actively working to alleviate any negative items on these.
So how do find your credit score?
There are several ways to view or request your credit score/report:
Annual Credit Report: offered by the government, you can request your credit report for free once a year
CreditKarma: free app that allows you to see your VantageScore on both Equifax and TransUnion.
MyScoreIQ.com: this is a paid service, however it’s very detailed and great for checking inquiries, late payments, or collections to be removed.
I recommend using MyScoreIQ because it gives you a huge amount of information about your credit.
While the others can also give you some of the same information, MyScoreIQ will show you not only all three bureaus, but your FICO score, which again, is the one that banks look at.
Once you’re able to look at your credit score from each bureau, you’ll want to start taking stock of what is happening with your report.
You should write down all the info that you find – Excel or Google Sheets is a great resource – and you’ll want to note:
Your credit score from each of the credit bureaus.
Any hard inquiries that show for each bureau
Any derogatory/negative items for each bureau
Each lender name where you have an account
Once you have all of that information, you’ll be able to get a clear picture of where you are in your credit journey.