Check your credit report

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Your credit report is a snapshot of your credit history that is used to determine your credit score. The better your credit history, the higher the credit score. A credit score can mean the difference between buying a house and continuing to rent. It also affects the interest rate you'll pay on loans. Landlords can use your credit score to decide on the amount of a security deposit, and employers can use it to decide whether to offer you a job.

The three major credit reporting agencies-- Experian, Trans union, and Equifax-- are required to give you a free copy of your credit report each year. Visit www..com to request yours.

What to look for. Read through your report to make sure you recognize everything listed. It's fairly common to discover serious errors that are affecting your credit score. If you find an error, call the lender in question. Or contact the credit reporting agencies directly. You can even dispute an error online with the credit bureaus. There is no quick fix. But if your credit is less than ideal, there are a few things that you can do to improve your credit score.

The magic number to remember is 30. Keep your credit card balances at no more than 30% of your credit limit. Don't close existing accounts you aren't using. Their zero balance helps lower your overall debt-to-credit ratio. But most importantly, do not add any more negative items. Pay bills on time. Don't run credit card balances up to the credit limit. And don't apply for more credit.

To learn more about repairing your credit, or any of the other financial planning services offered by the credit union, visit www.LGFCU.org/financialplanning, or call (877) 367-5428.

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The situations described in this video are for informational purposes only and meant to provide examples of the products and services LGFCU offers to its members, which may be subject to approval. Contact a financial advisor or legal or tax professional for additional guidance.

The individuals presented in this video are members and employees of LGFCU and receive no added compensation for their appearance.

LGFCU is an equal housing opportunity lender and federally insured by NCUA.