When you were a little kid, did you get good grades in school?
Be honest, now. Maybe sometimes you did and sometimes you didn’t.
Now that you’re adulting, are you getting good grades in life?
Hard to tell, isn’t it? Life doesn’t hand out letter grades at the end of every semester. You get an A for your career and a B for your looks and a D for your social life…
But wait! We know a way to get letter grades for one of the most important parts of your adult life — your finances.
We’re fond of a free credit-monitoring service called Credit Sesame. It’ll show you your credit score, but that’s just the beginning.
It’ll also give you an in-depth “credit report card” that breaks down exactly what’s on your credit report in layman’s terms, how it affects your score and how to address it.
To drive the point home, it’ll give you letter grades on five different factors that affect your credit: your payment history, credit utilization rate, credit age, account mix and number of credit inquiries.
(I know from personal experience it really pops out when you get a “D” grade in one of those categories.)
The credit report marks that these grades represent affect your credit score, for better or for worse. And the higher your score, the better deal you’ll get on a mortgage, car loan or credit card.
Even if you’re not buying a house anytime soon, a lousy credit score means you’ll get hit with a high security deposit whenever you rent a car or move into a new apartment.
Life doesn’t grade on a curve, man.
Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. Out of Credit Sesame’s five categories, he only got one “D” grade. Only one!
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