Be prepared to manage your own credit rating. Once you know what your credit report says about your credit habits and history, you can use it to your advantage in your military finances.
Before they were famous, many truly influential men and women started by serving their country in the US military or grew up in military families.

Military Money and Finance

CREDIT SCORES
Learn to Leverage Your Military Pay

Your credit score is equal to your credit worthiness, and they both add up to the ease of your military lifestyle. Because information is powerful to your military money history, be prepared to manage your own credit rating. Once you know what your credit report says about your credit habits and history, you can use it to your advantage in your military finances.

HERE'S HOW IT WORKS FOR YOU.

Say you're ready to buy a house for your military family. Lenders determine your credit rating by reviewing your credit history and credit score from one or more credit bureaus.

It pays for you to know your credit score before your lender, before you apply for your VA home loan, new car or any other large purchase; it allows you to be equipped to raise your score before they see it, and this you can do by taking steps to manage the data in your credit report yourself.

Did you know that you can correct any inaccurate credit data in your credit report? In fact, you're the only one who can assure that your credit report is an accurate reflection of your military money habits. But since it can take up to six months for credit reporting agencies to investigate and make a change in your credit report, you want to give yourself at least 12 months to correct your data before you start.

We recommend you get a copy of your credit report on a regular basis - at least once a year. You are eligible to get a free copy of your own credit report:

  • If you have been denied credit, employment, or insurance within the last 60 days, you can take the written proof of your denial and mail it to the credit bureaus, requesting a free report.
  • If you have been charged higher rates and fees based on a credit report issued by a credit bureau, you have the right to get a free copy from that bureau.
  • If you are unemployed and aim to seek employment within the next 60 days, you can certify this in writing for the credit bureau.
  • If you are on welfare.
  • If you write to say you were a victim of fraud.

Some states have laws requiring the bureaus (Equifax®, Experian® and TransUnion) to provide one free credit report per year. You can also order your own credit report online at any time.

Thoroughly review your credit history and dispute any errors. You can remove black marks on your credit history even if they are quite old. Credit bureaus are legally responsible for reporting accurate information, but it's up to you to bring any errors to their attention.

Once the credit bureau receives your request, they have 30 days to respond. Make sure you do - protecting your credit rating is vital to good military money management.



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