The best website to order a free credit report is…

www.annualcreditreport.com! The Federal Trade Commission notes that it is the only website authorized to fill orders for the free annual credit report you are entitled to under law. You can also call or (877) 322-8228 to request your free credit report.

Ignore ads for other credit check websites that claim to offer free credit reports or free credit scores. They are not part of the legally mandated free annual credit report program. In some cases, the “free” product comes with strings attached.

Why review your credit report and credit score? The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority or FINRA recommends reviewing your credit report so that you can see what potential lenders see. It can also help you spot signs of identity theft. As for your credit score, it’s a key factor in determining how much you will pay to borrow money. Scores range from approximately 300 to 850: the higher your score, the better the terms of credit you are likely to receive. Good credit management leads to higher credit scores, which in turn lowers your cost to borrow.

FINRA also recommends that you start reading about personal finance to learn about money management. To help get you started, browse this book list with titles on credit and debt management. 

For more personal finance tips, watch for an exciting financial exhibition coming soon at Saratoga Library!

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