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credit score

What is a Credit Score?

 

Q: What is a credit score? How is my credit score calculated?

A: A credit score is a number that reflects the information in your credit report. The score summarizes your credit history and helps lenders predict how likely it is that you will repay a loan and make payments when they are due. Lenders may use credit scores in deciding whether to grant you credit, what terms you are offered, or the rate you will pay on a loan.

Information used to calculate your credit score can include:

  • The number and type of accounts you have (credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, etc.)
  • Whether you pay your bills on time
  • How much of your available credit you are currently using
  • Whether you have any collection actions against you
  • The amount of your outstanding debt
  • The age of your accounts

Q: What can cause my credit score to change?

A: Because your credit score reflects the information in your credit report, changes to your credit report may cause your credit score to change. For instance, if you pay your bills late or incur more debt, your credit score may go down. However, if you pay down an outstanding balance on a credit card or mortgage or correct an error in your credit report, your credit score may go up.

 


Get Your Free Credit Report

 

Your Free Credit Report from the Official Site

 

The federal government requires that each of the three national credit-reporting agencies — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — gives you a free credit report every year. You can order them from all three at once, or at different times.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, the only authorized online source is AnnualCreditReport.com. Consumers should be aware that there are many sites out there that claim to offer “free” credit reports but often charge you for another product if you accept the report.

To Request your credit report online:

To request your credit report by phone:

  • Call 877-322-8228
  • You will go through a simple verification process over the phone

To request your credit report by mail:

  • Download the request form from the AnnualCreditReport.com site
  • Print and complete the form
  • Mail the completed form to:

Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281