Credit Reports and Credit Score
What is a Credit Report?
A credit report, or credit file disclosure, is a record of your accredit activities. Your credit is very crucial in determining how much you can borrow, the interest rate and the terms. With your license, it may even be considered by potential employers .
In 1971, the federal government passed the Fair Credit Reporting Act ( FCRA ), which provides basic rights to all consumers and recognizes the need for all citation information to be correct. The Federal Trade Commission ( FTC ) enforces the FCRA.
Reading: Credit Reports and Credit Score
The three chief national credit bureaus are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. All of your creditors will report your information to at least one of these agencies, and your credit report is continually updated .
Your credit report can not be viewed by anyone who does not have a legitimate necessitate for viewing it. Credit agency can provide information merely to the following requestors :
- Creditors who are considering granting or who have granted you credit
- Employers considering you for employment, promotion, reassignment or retention
- Insurers considering you for an insurance policy or renewing an existing policy
- Government agencies reviewing your financial status for benefits
- Anyone with a legitimate business need for the information, such as potential landlords
What is a Credit Score?
Your citation score and your credit report are two unlike things. A credit report is information about your credit bodily process. A credit score, or FICO® ( Fair Isaac and Company ) sexual conquest, is calculated based upon the information in your credit composition. FICO® scores range from 300 to 850, with a higher phone number indicating a better credit score .
Lenders use this credit score to evaluate your creditworthiness, or your ability to repay a loan. A higher score means you are a lower credit risk, so companies will charge you less to borrow money. You can obtain your sexual conquest from the credit chest of drawers, normally for a small tip. Learn more about credit scores by downloading the booklet Understanding Your FICO sexual conquest or by visiting www.myfico.com
What factors make up your Credit Score?
There are basically five categories of information that comprises your credit score. Chart provided by myfico.com
accredit Score Categories
The most important factor is your payment history – that is, if you pay your bills in a timely manner. late payments, collections actions and bankruptcy filings have a very veto impingement on your citation score .
The amounts owed is the following largest divisor in determining your grade. Both the total of debt you are carrying and the credit to debt ratio are taken into retainer. If you are maxed out on a credit rating circuit board, or close to it, that could count against you. Owing $ 2900 on a recognition card with a $ 3000 terminus ad quem will impact your credit score more negatively than carrying a $ 2900 balance on a credit poster with a $ 5000 line of credit .
credit agency besides consider the age of your credit accounts, whereby the older the account the better it is for your score. For that reason, it is not constantly a dear mind to cancel an report once you have paid off the libra in full. If you have had that citation card for awhile, you might want to just cut up the calling card but leave the account open .
Every time you apply for a credit card or lend the creditor or fiscal institution requests to see a copy of your credit report. Each such request is considered an ” inquiry ”. Too many inquiries can hurt your credit score .
Another factor that plays into your credit rating grade is account diverseness, or the types of recognition in practice. Having both “ installation loans ” ( e.g. mortgages, cable car loans, etc. ) and “ orb credit ” ( e.g. credit cards ) helps your score .
The under chart is a useful scout in identifying the factors resulting in a credit score within a finical range :
|If you have …||Your Credit Score range will be…||This Credit Score is …||The level of interest rates for which you would be eligible…|
|Late payments, collections, public records||
|Length of credit history||New accounts & Inquiries|
|None||1% – 10%||Long||None||800+||Excellent||Lowest|
|None||1% – 10%||Medium to long||Very few||750-800||Very good||Lowest|
|None recently||10% – 25%||Medium||Few||700-750||Good||Low to medium|
|Recently, but not currently||25% – 50%||Short to medium||More than a few||650-700||Fair||Low to medium|
|Currently and in the past||50% – 75%||Short||Too many||600-650||Bad||Medium to high|
|Currently and in the past||75% – 100%+||Short||Too many||Below 600||Very bad||High|
Your Free Reports
Under federal law, consumers can receive one free copy of your credit composition every 12 months from each of the three credit report agencies ( Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion ). Plus, as a Georgia house physician, you are entitled by the Fair Business Practices Act to receive two extra free recognition reports from each credit report representation per year .
To holy order your free credit reports, go to AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1-877-322-8228 .
To request the second and third base free accredit reports you must contact the three citation report agencies directly .
You can request free weekly credit reports from all three credit bureaus through 2022.
How to Contact the Credit Bureaus
Contact the Credit Bureaus
When requesting a credit report by mail, for the purpose of accurate file-matching please include your full name, stream entire address including nothing code, Social Security number, date of parentage, and most recent former cover .
The credit rating chest of drawers may vary in their method acting of providing your extra detached citation reputation ( s ), and the report you receive from one of the agency ( arsenic well as your credit score ) could be different from the others. Each collects its own data, and they do not necessarily receive the same information from your creditors. It is important to review your credit report from each agency to ensure that the information is accurate and there is no deceitful bodily process attributed to you .
mail complaints about any of the accredit chest of drawers to the FTC .
If you are denied credit rating on the basis of information in a credit report card, you may get a unblock copy of your reputation from the credit agency that supplied the initial report card. If you are the victim of identity larceny, you can call any one of the three credit-reporting agencies to request that a fraud alert be placed on all three of your files and that a copy of each current report be sent to you .
Information on Your Credit Report
Credit chest of drawers collect many types of data about you. This includes where you live, where you work, how you pay your bills, and whether you have been sued or arrested or have filed for bankruptcy. The four basic types of information collected are :
- Your identification and employment information:
- Social Security number
- Date of birth
- Current and previous addresses
- Telephone number
- Current and previous employers
- Payment History: All of the credit accounts, including mortgage, credit card, retail credit cards, bank and finance loans, that you have had within the past 10 years appear on your credit report. The collected information includes:
- Your name and account number
- Date account was opened or closed
- Amount borrowed and amount still owed
- Credit limit
- Timeliness of payments
- Inquiries: A list of organizations that have requested your credit report other than you, including lenders within the past year and potential employers within the past two years.
- Public Record Information:
- Judgments, including child support judgments
- Tax liens
- Criminal convictions
Most of this information, arsenic well as information on your respective credit accounts, will be on your report for seven years. personal bankruptcies will be reported for 10 years .
No one can remove discipline information from your report, even if it is veto. Con artists will tell you that they can remove negative information on your credit report card for a tip, but only the passage of time will achieve that consequence .
Common Errors on Your Credit Report
Since citation information is collected from a variety of sources, errors do happen. Check your credit reports sporadically and address errors immediately. serious errors could affect your ability to obtain a loanword, policy or even a job or could affect your credit evaluation, which in turn would mean that you might have to pay a higher interest rate when you borrow money .
- Information about you
- Look for misspellings of your name or errors in your birthdate or Social Security number.
- Make sure the same loan is not listed more than once.
- Look for omissions, such as the fact that you paid off a delinquent account or resolved a legal matter.
- Make sure accounts that are closed are actually listed as closed.
- Information that is on the report that is not about you
- Look for “mixed” information, such as information about Robert Johnson, Sr. on the report for Robert Johnson, Jr.
- Information about you that is very old and should be removed
- Look for old addresses, employers or a previous spouse’s information.
If you find errors on your report, you can dispute them at no cost. Details on how to dispute an error are included with your credit report, but basically you should notify in writing the consumer credit report company ( Experian, Equifax or TransUnion ) deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as the person or company who provided the information of the erroneousness. Be ampere detail as possible, providing copies of documents as needed. Send your letters certified mail, return receipt requested and keep a imitate for your records .
The consumer credit rating reporting company must investigate your allegations within 30 days and will notify you of the consequence. More information on this dispute procedure, adenine well as a sample quarrel letter, is available through the FTC .
Getting a Credit Report on Behalf of Someone Else
A parent or defender of a minor child who needs to get a recognition report on behalf of their child may need to submit a Uniform Minor ’ south Status Declaration and provide extra documents establishing he or she is the minor ’ sulfur legal defender .
If you are the designate or motor hotel appointed defender of an aged person or a dependant adult, you may write the three credit report agencies on behalf of the person in your legal care. When you write the agencies to request their credit report or challenge information on their report, you should include in your letter :
- The senior family member/dependent adult’s full name and social security number;
- Your name, address, and relationship to the senior family member or dependent adult;
- Documentation showing that you have legal responsibility for the senior person/dependent adult.
How to Raise Your Credit Score Legitimately
- Inspect your credit report and correct any errors. A study conducted by the National Association of State PIRGs found that of the credit reports surveyed, 79% had general errors and 25% contained serious errors that could have resulted in the denial of credit.
- Own credit cards and manage them responsibly.
- Avoid doing the things that lower your credit score.
- many scoring models compare the amount of debt you have to your credit rating limits. The closer the numbers, the more negative the affect is upon your credit score .
- A short-change credit history may have a negative effect on your score .
- application for besides many raw accounts in a shortstop clock can negatively impact your score .
- Pay on time. Late payments hurt your score more than anything, except not paying at all or bankruptcy.
- Pay more than the minimum due each month.
- Apply for credit only when you need it. New accounts could lower your score by lowering the average age of all your accounts, and even closed accounts may be factored into your score.
Fraudulent Credit Report Websites
Have you always received an unasked e-mail or an Internet pop fly ad offer detached recognition reports ? Be careful. many of these on-line operators are using such offers to collect your personal data and use your identity for deceitful activities. here are a few words to the wise :
- There is only one source for your free credit reports – www.annualcreditreport.com. You can make your request on-line, by phone or by mail. Avoid all other websites no matter how good the offer seems to be.
- If you get an e-mail offering a free credit report, call the company instead of clicking the link.
- Be skeptical of unsolicited e-mails offering a free credit report, especially from unusual e-mail addresses that have numbers, misspelled words or a foreign domain.
- Verify the company’s name, address and telephone number.
- Signs of a scam include misspellings or grammatical errors in the letter, or an area code that does not match the zip code of the company.
- Search Network Solutions online to determine who owns the web site.
- Legitimate companies will not ask for your personal identification number (PIN) for your bank account, your passport number, or the three-digit number on the back of your credit card.
- Only use secure websites when providing any personal information online. A secure site will have “https” at the beginning of the web address.
- Always check credit card statements for any unauthorized charges.
If you have been a victim of this type of victimize, please let us know .
You may besides file a complaint with the FTC by going to reportfraud.ftc.gov or calling. Due to the numeral of complaints they receive, they can not treat your case individually ; but they may use your information for purposes of a national investigation .