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Understand Your Credit Report

As a free service to our members, Southwest FCU’s Lending Officers and Financial Service Representatives are always available to assist with an in-depth analysis of your credit report. A “soft pull” of your report does not negatively affect your score. Find out what your score is, how you were scored, and what it means. We’ll help you read and understand your report, offer suggestions to improve your credit rating, and advise you on the best ways to prevent identity theft. We can assist you in developing financial goals and a plan to reach them. Our confidential personal finance counseling is available to all members at any time.

Maintaining a solid credit history is an important part of managing your finances. A good credit record can make future borrowing easier and help you qualify for Southwest’s lowest rates. Three large credit reporting companies compile credit reports, and making sure the information in those reports is correct is important.

You are entitled to receive a free credit report from each of the reporting bureaus once a year.  You can take advantage of this by going to www.annualcreditreport.com or contacting the companies:

Experian (888) 397-3742
Equifax (800) 997-2493
TransUnion (800) 888-4213

Do not be surprised if the reports are somewhat different; each company gets information from many sources. If you find the information in your file is inaccurate or unfair, you can take steps to correct it or at least arrange to have your side of the story included in your file. If a creditor has made an inaccurate complaint, you can write to the creditor and insist the record be corrected. You should also write to the credit bureau and request their records be corrected.

Having an inaccurate credit report can cause problems at the worst possible times. Review your credit report annually and make sure it is accurate. A solid credit record and an accurate credit report are valuable assets.

For information about credit reports from the Federal Reserve, go to www.federalreserve.gov/creditreports.