In addition to understanding and checking your score, you want to periodically check your credit report. Your score and your report are two different things.
Your credit report is a document that credit reporting companies, or credit bureaus, compile. It lists your full credit history — every time you’ve opened a new credit card or borrowed money.
You can check your report for free once a year by requesting a copy from AnnualCreditReport.com. If you request your report more than once per year, you’ll pay a small fee to receive it (which can be no more than $12.95).
When you get your credit report, it will show all your accounts, balances, and lines of credit. It will also show any financial judgments against you, like liens and bankruptcies. These black marks stay on your report for seven years.
Check your credit report to make sure all the information is accurate. If you find a mistake, you need to contact one of the three credit bureaus (specifically, the one who issued your credit report) to dispute the error. The three bureaus are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
If you have more questions about credit and how to use it, reach out to your bank and speak with a representative. They can share options for using credit available to you and help you create a plan to repay any money you want to borrow.