What is a credit report?
A credit report is a record of how a consumer has managed their credit use over time. It is based primarily upon information reported by one’s creditors on items such as mortgages, car loans, and credit cards and provides details of the payment history on each account. When a consumer seeks new credit, lenders will review their credit report to determine credit worthiness.
What is a credit score?
A credit score is a three-digit number, based on the information in a consumer’s credit report, that lenders use to determine credit worthiness. Generally, a credit score falls within a scale of 300-850. The more positive the information in a consumer’s credit report, the higher their credit score.
How is a credit score calculated?
Credit scoring models generally use five factors to determine consumer credit scores, with each factor accounting for a percentage of the composite score as follows: Credit history 35%, Utilization 30%, Length of use 15%, New applications 15%, Types of credit in use 10%.
Is it possible to not have a credit score?
If a consumer has not been an active user of credit over the years, it is possible that the consumer reporting agencies do not have enough information to generate a credit score.
Is it necessary to check credit reports and scores?
It is important for consumers to review their credit reports at least once every 12 months to verify that the information contained is accurate and complete. Inaccurate or incomplete information could result in a denial of credit and/or could be a sign of fraud or identity theft.
How is a free annual credit report ordered?
Under federal law, consumers are entitled to a free annual credit report disclosure once every 12 months from each of the three national consumer reporting agencies. All of the reports can be ordered at the same time, or they can be ordered one at a time from each agency.
What to do if a victim of identity theft?
Consumers who are victims of identity theft should contact their lenders to report the fraudulent activity, file a police report and obtain an FTC Fraud Affidavit, place a fraud alert on their three credit files and consider placing a credit freeze on each as well.