Why getting your credit report beats getting your report card

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Why getting your credit report beats getting your report card

By AGNES LIANG, STEPHANIE BENJAMIN & MIKA BHATIA

Remember getting your report card back in the day? For some of us, the day our final grades arrived was a joyous occasion.


For the rest of us, we dreaded the day like no other.


Seeing those big fat grades printed out on paper felt like being branded with a scarlet letter.


And once grades were sent out, there was no changing them. That is, depending on how skilled you were with a printer...


Checking your credit report may evoke similar emotions. Does the mention of "credit score" or "credit report" make your heart race or your palms sweat?


Here's the good news: Getting your credit report is not the same as getting your report card.


First, your credit score isn't set in stone (or paper). If you've neglected your credit in the past, or made some missteps along the way, you can work to fix it.


With your report card, you never really knew what was coming. Did your teacher decide to round up your 89.9% to an A- or leave with you with an annoying B+? The suspense was real.


But with your credit report, you're the one in the driver's seat. You can check it whenever and as often as you choose with Credit Karma so that you're never left guessing.


You can also sign up for credit monitoring (for free!) and be alerted when there are changes to your report, so you know exactly what's on it.

Credit Karma will also give you tailored recommendations and tips on how you can improve your credit health. Think of it as tutoring (but far less painful).

Finally, getting your report card was unavoidable -- it showed up in your mailbox, semester after semester, and there was nothing you could do about it. But checking your credit report is totally in your control.

The bottom line? Getting your credit report totally beats getting your report card. So don't be afraid to check yours today.

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