Credit & Financial Education

Credit Reports

A credit report shows your payment history over the last 7 years and indicates any liens, judgements, collections, bankruptcy or other bruises to your credit. Check your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus every year for FREE!

Credit Score

Your credit score is a current snapshot of your credit behavior, typically stated as a number between 300-850.  The leader in providing credit scores for mortgage lending purposes is Fair Issac Corporation or FICO. The cost of obtaining your score ranges from about $7 -$20.  Beware of ads offering you a free credit score!

The FICO Score is calculated from several different pieces of credit data in your credit report. This data is grouped into five categories, and reflect how important each of the categories are in determining how your FICO Score is calculated.

Buyer Education

Tip

Check one in the first part of the year; check a second midway through the year; and check the third towards the end of the year. By doing that, you can regularly monitor the reports for errors and any signs of identity theft.

Your FICO Score considers both positive and negative information in your credit report. Late payments will lower your FICO Score, but establishing or re-establishing a good track record of making payments on time will raise your score.  Your FICO score is determined using the following percentages:


orange
  35% Payment history

green  30% Amounts owed

blue  15% Length of credit history

violet  10% New credit

purple 10% Types of credit used

PIe Chart

There are many organizations throughout Maryland to assist with financial education and coaching, credit counseling, homeownership preparation, and tax assistance.