Check credit reports and scores to keep finances healthy

Consumers who want to right their financial ship and steer clear of debt hurdles and credit obstacles should make checking their credit report regularly a financial habit.

The information reflected in their credit reports will be used by credit scoring companies to calculate their credit score. The three-digit number can either help them secure a loan with low interest rates, or it can be the reason they walk home from a bank empty handed.

"More and more companies want to look at your credit score," Al Bingham, author of The Road to 850: Proven Strategies for Increasing Your Credit Scores, told The Salt Lake Tribune.

Keeping these scores strong will be essential to securing financing down the road. And since this number depends on the information in your credit report, making sure the details in these documents is accurate is pivotal to a healthy credit standing.

Consumers who check over their credit reports and find erroneous information or questionable marks may want to contact a credit repair company. With the help of a credit lawyer, consumers may be able to file a dispute with the credit bureau to have the unfair or inaccurate information removed from their records. Credit repair can be an effective way to restore the clean credit standing you need to obtain reasonable financing rates for future purchases.