Will Financial Counseling Hurt Your Credit Score?
Many people wonder if consulting with a financial counseling agency will affect their credit score. Your credit score is based on the information contained in your credit report. Simply obtaining counseling, whether it is for debt, housing or other financial issues, has no bearing on your credit score, it is not reported to the credit bureau.
What to Expect When You Schedule a Credit Report Review Session?
NFCC Certified Credit and Debt Counselors will provide you with a complete overview and understanding of what’s on your credit report, and give you feedback and guidance on ways to improve your credit worthiness. After completing a credit report review session you will have:
- A full understanding of how to interpret the information found on your credit report
- What your FICO® Score is used for
- Suggestions on how to use credit wisely to ensure your credit remains up-to-date.
What is on my credit report?
The information included in your credit report includes:
- Identifying information, including your Social Security number, address, and date of birth are used to ensure the right information is matched with the right person. It can also help detect and prevent identity fraud.
- Employment history is a record of where you worked and for how long.
- Credit history details your current outstanding and closed credit cards and loans and how you’ve handled payments.
- Inquiries list shows who has requested your credit report.
- Public records provide information that includes collections accounts, bankruptcies, and late child support payments.
How am I scored?
Most lenders use a mathematical formula to generate a “score” to help them determine if you are a good credit risk. The most frequently used version is the FICO® Score created by Fair Isaac and Company. A FICO® Score is a snapshot of your credit risk picture at a particular point in time. FICO® Scores range between 300 and 850 with higher values indicating a lower risk to lenders. Bottom line. Pay your bills on time, and in full each month. The result? A higher credit score which equates to paying lower interest rates and keeping more money in your wallet.