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Credit Report

Credit Report: What You Need to Know

For many people, credit reports can be confusing, intimidating, and may contain information that is hard to see in black and white, such as late payments, defaults on loans, or issues with creditors. In addition, credit scores can differ between the credit reporting agencies, adding to uncertainty.

Taking a proactive approach to requesting and understanding credit reports and credit scores—including why it is important to request the reports annually, how to read the reports, and how to resolve mistakes—consumers can benefit from receiving better mortgage, loan, and credit-card interest rates as well as improve job hunting and home rental options.

This workshop presents information to help consumers demystify the credit report and to help them understand it and use it to improve their financial lives.

Workshop Materials

You must agree to the terms of the Content License Agreement below to access the materials. Once the materials are downloaded, they may be used as-is or customized to best meet your needs.


Each kit provides workshop facilitators with the materials needed to run a workshop straight out of the box, or the choice to adapt any of the detailed presentations, scripts or learner action plans to suit their unique audience’s needs. Here is what you can find in each workshop.

A Presentation

Display these PowerPoint slides during your presentation to keep the workshop engaging and on track.

A Script

Consult the script for tips on how to prepare for your workshop, what your primary talking points will be, and follow-up resources.

Activities and Info Sheets

Guide your workshop participants through the hands-on activities and informational sheets to bring the financial skills to life.

Related Resources

Find additional suggested resources that can help round out your educational offerings.

FAQs

The FAQ section for each workshop can help answer your questions about working with your intended audience.

FAQs

Who will be participating in this workshop?

Participants of this workshop are interested in learning more about their credit report—how to request it, read it, dispute errors, and use it as a tool for their personal financial planning. They may be young adults just entering the workforce, or they may be people nearing retirement age.

How do I help the participants be comfortable with learning from me and sharing with me?

The best way to make participants feel comfortable during the workshop is to help create an environment that is supportive and confidential. By sharing personal experiences and asking participants to do the same, trust builds and the participants will become more invested in the program. Also, allowing participants to see you as a human being who has experienced similar situations, as well as presenting the information without lecturing and with more focus on discussion and activities, will allow the participants to be more comfortable and open during the session.

I’m not a financial expert. What if I can’t answer some of their questions, or what if they ask a very specific question?

If they ask very specific questions about credit use or financial issues or challenges, encourage them to do the research to find the answers and seek out a trusted financial professional. It is best not to guess or dismiss any question. You also might use this as an opportunity to reinforce how important it is for them to ask questions any time they do not understand something. For additional financial education information, you can refer them to the National Endowment for Financial Education website (www.nefe.org) and NEFE’s Smart About Money website (www.smartaboutmoney.org). For additional information about credit and credit reports in general, suggest they search for nonprofit or governmental organizations, which will be more likely to provide, free, unbiased information.

How can I be most effective as a workshop facilitator?

Be respectful to your participants and acknowledge the big step they took to attend this workshop. Encourage and support their interest in learning about this topic. In addition, do your best to make the workshop interactive and fun. The more you share about your personal experiences, and the more you allow others to share, the more interesting and real the information becomes.

What if one person dominates the discussion?

Before conducting the workshop, practice a few lines you could use spontaneously to limit one person from dominating the discussion. For example, if one person is going on too long about her situation, you could say, “I appreciate your input and participation, and I am concerned about the time because we have some other topics to cover.” If one person is asking the majority of the questions, look for someone who has not asked a question and direct a query to him specifically.

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