While April is the official National Financial Literacy Month, we at myFICO like to think that sound financial literacy practices should be a 24/7 common practice for everyone.
And why shouldn’t it be when having a strong understanding of how to create/stick with a budget, the benefits of investing and saving, how the credit system works, how lenders evaluate applications for credit, how interest fees accrue and knowing your consumer rights can all save you thousands of dollars and loads of time.
At myFICO, we focus on that part of financial literacy related to consumer credit and encourage everyone to participate in this year’s National Financial Literacy month with the following activities:
- Check your credit reports to ensure information is being reported accurately. It’s easy and free – simply visit the FTC created website (www.annualcreditreport.com) to order your annual free credit bureau report from each bureau. Follow the dispute resolution process should you find a reporting error.
- Order your FICO® Score at myFICO.com. Yes, there is a small fee, but it’s a good investment to see the same score that lenders use when making lending decisions. Plus, you get a personalized and detailed explanation of your FICO Score and access to the FICO® Score Simulator – a tool that allows you to understand potential effects on your score based on a variety of credit actions you can simulate.
- Check out FICO Forums, a unique financial literacy community focused on credit scoring and other credit related topics. Totally open to all – search on thousands of topics of interest or start a discussion on your own topic and gain insight into what others have experienced or recommend.
- Have a question about credit scores? Want to know how inquiries are considered in FICO Scores? Curious to understand how much a 20-point score increase could affect the interest fees on a new car loan? Just about everything you ever wanted to know about FICO Scores can be found in the education section of myFICO.com — sometimes referenced as the “Carnegie Library” of credit scoring information.
- Find out “the latest hot topics” from experts in the field by monitoring the myFICO blog. During the month of April you’ll find posts about consumer protection for children, how to save money when job searching, healthy financial habits as a couple and more.
The National Financial Literacy Month is a great time to take stock of your financial well-being, take advantage of the educational outreach being shared and take actions to improve your future financial health. How do you plan to get involved this month? You can get started by making a pledge to your financial health at FinancialLiteracyMonth.com.
Tom Quinn is the Vice President of Business Development for myFICO® , and has over 20 years of experience working with consumers, regulators and lenders and regarding credit related questions and initiatives.