Home and car loans, mortgages, some insurance and some jobs are dependent on the individual’s credit report and score. A good credit report and score can get you the most favorable deals and a bad one can deprive you of one. It is advised to check your credit history and score regularly to make sure that all activities accounted for on your credit report are only yours and to detect identity theft as soon as possible. There are paid services for getting copies of credit reports and score but there are free ones as well. Find out where to get your free credit score report online.
Credit reports are a detailed history of a person’s credit line. It includes credit card, home loans details, and banking institutions. Found on the report are personal identifying information such as name, address, work history, and Social Security number. It is used to determine the individual’s credit-worthiness.
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act has mandated the credit reporting bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion to furnish consumers with one free credit report every year. This can be requested online through the website of their central unit Annual Credit Report (www.annualcreditreport.com), by phone or by mail. This free annual credit report includes a credit report from all 3 of the major bureaus.
What happens after the annual free credit score report online?
You can purchase a copy of your credit report and score from the website of one of the three credit reporting bureaus for $14.95 or all three for $39.95 prices may vary). There are countless websites that offer free credit reports although none are authorized by the government so be sure that you only visit well-reputed websites.
Credit scores are computed using the information found on the credit report. The 3 major credit reporting bureaus use the FICO model to compute the scores. It is the most widely used model for credit score computation. Credit scores are a three digit number ranging from over 800, the highest score to around 300. These scores then have a corresponding rating such as excellent for a score of over 720 and risky for any score lower in the range of 300.
The FACT Act unfortunately does not require the three major bureaus to give out free annual credit scores. Just like credit reports, free credit scores are available online on countless websites. If you wish to only transact with the government authorized agencies, credit scores can be purchased at any of the three major bureau’s websites.
My reports and scores are not the same
Credit reports and scores are not identical in any two bureaus although some information will be found in all three reports. What you find in your credit report with Experian may not be available in TransUnion. Some companies and financial institutions will only update your record in one of the bureaus. Since credit scores are computed using the credit report, they will vary as well.