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What do I need to know about my credit?

Credit scores provide rich information about your financial history, which can empower you to make informed financial goals and decisions. The following is information about how you can view and understand your credit score whenever you’re ready to do so. 

We recognize that viewing your credit scores can be scary and triggering, especially if you have experienced financial trauma and abuse. Know that you don’t have to explore your credit alone. Consider contacting an advocate in your area for emotional support through this process.

What is a credit score?

Credit scores are a measure of how likely someone is to pay back a lender based on their financial history. A high credit score can make it easier to get approved for loans, credit cards, and housing applications. Additionally, a high score can help you get lower interest rates, making access to funds more affordable.

To learn more about how credit scores work, we recommend viewing the Allstate Foundation’s online course on credit scores (PDF version available here). This course is part of the Allstate Foundation Moving Ahead Curriculum, an educational resource designed to help survivors achieve financial independence and rebuild their lives. Topics in their credit scores course include:

  • Types of credit scores
  • Factors that impact credit
  • Improving your credit score
  • Finding good financial products

Understanding your credit history

To learn how to view and interpret your credit history, we recommended viewing FreeFrom’s webinar, “Delving into Your Credit Report Without Shame or Judgment.” This webinar was hosted by survivors for survivors to help you feel empowered to take control of your credit.

If you decide to view your credit report, check the reports for lines of credit your harm doer may have opened in your name. If you suspect an error or fraud, you can dispute the information with the credit bureaus and place a fraud alert on your credit report. For more information, visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s website

Need more support?

Consider registering for an upcoming "Credit & Debt" virtual finance class. This 90-minute class covers the importance of maintaining strong credit, and how to find and monitor your credit report and score.

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