Your credit score is a reflection of how you’ve handled your financial obligations. It’s based on information that’s been reported to credit bureaus by companies, like credit card issuers and lenders, you have financial accounts with. If you’ve paid your bills on time and managed your accounts wisely, you’ll have a good credit score. But, if you’ve made some mistakes — like not paying on time or not paying at all — you’ll end up with bad credit.
When a creditor reviews your application for a loan or credit card, they’ll check both your credit report and credit score to determine your creditworthiness. Based on that and other financial information, they’ll decide if you qualify for a loan or card. If you do, you’ll receive a higher interest rate if you have poor credit because they think you pose more of a risk of defaulting on your payments if you have a rocky financial past.
New credit tips: Note that it’s OK to request and check your own credit report: this won’t affect a score, as long as you order your credit report directly from the credit reporting agency or through an organization authorized to provide credit reports to consumers.
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Judgments may be reported for up to seven years from the date the lawsuit was filed or until the governing statute of limitations has expired, whichever is longer. Most statutes of limitation are shorter than seven years, so that is the likely maximum time a judgment or lawsuit will show up on your credit report. To be sure, check your specific state laws for details.
Review Your Credit Report – You are entitled to one free credit report a year from each of the three reporting agencies and requesting one has no impact on your credit score. Review the report closely. Dispute any errors that you find. This is the closest you can get to a quick credit fix. Notifying the credit reporting agency of wrong or outdated information will improve your score as soon as the false information is removed.