Knowing your credit is probably the best way to fix your credit.

Your credit report shows you details about your payment history, unpaid debts and current balances. It is a record of your credit history from a number of sources, including banks, credit card companies, collection agencies, and governments.

Understanding your credit can help you plan or fix your credit. Here is a list of what you need to know about credit reports if you’re a home buyer.

 1.   Getting a Free Credit Report

You are entitled to get a free credit report from the three major credit reporting bureaus, namely Trans Union, Experian and Equifax, once a year. It is a federal law and you have the right to get one from each of them.

Getting a free credit report is easy. Just go to and get an individual report or get all three of them from the three bureaus.

It is wise, however, to just get one report every four months so that you can periodically check your credit.


 2.   Credit Score Not Included

FICO credit scores are not included in credit reports. FICO scores are used by lenders to evaluate your credit-worthiness when you borrow.

There are companies that provide services that will allow you to see your credit score in exchange for a fee.


 3.   Paying for your Credit Score

You can pay to see your FICO scores by visiting the websites of Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. You could also visit and get a free 10-day trial using your credit card. You must cancel the subscription before the end of the 10-day trial period or you will be charged with a three month subscription.

Visit these websites of the three credit reporting bureaus for updated prices:

Your credit score isn’t as useful as your credit report, though. So purchasing your credit score may not be needed because the information that you would need is in the credit report which you can get for free.

If you’re planning on getting a home loan, your lender may get your credit score in connection with your home loan application and you are entitled to learn your score.


 4.   Errors on Credit Reports

Errors on credit reports are, unfortunately, common. Some are just minor errors like misspelled names or addresses, but some of the errors have resulted in denial of credit. This is a serious issue and even though you had no fault in it, you are still held responsible.

If errors are found, it is advised to contact the reporting agencies and creditors in writing immediately. Be sure to provide documentation, explain the error and make a request for an adjustment or have it removed. Make sure you follow up regularly to check the status as this is a very important matter and is detrimental to your credit.