Chapter 2: Credit reports and scores

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Obtaining your credit report and credit score before you apply for a credit card could get you a better interest rate.

This chapter is all about credit reports and credit scores. It may sound boring and you may be inclined to skip it, but following the steps outlined here could save you some money. We’ll show you how to get your free credit report annually, how to interpret the report, how to correct mistakes that you might find, and what your credit score is and how you can improve it.

What can you expect to learn from this chapter:

  • What is a credit score?

    We define it and show you how the it’s calculated. Plus, we’ve got a calculator to help you estimate yours.

  • Checking your credit report

    Thanks to a new federal law, everyone is entitled to a free credit report each year. Here’s how to get yours.

  • How to read a credit report

    There are an awful lot of numbers and names on a credit report. This step-by-step guide to reading the report will help you through it.

  • Fixing mistakes on your credit report

    Correcting your credit report isn’t difficult to do; you just have to know what steps to take.

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