Terms of Use 

Credit Score

A credit score (ranging from 300 to 850) is a measure of your credit worthiness or how likely you are to pay back your debts and do so on time.  You want to have a high score.  

Your credit score is used by lenders, credit card companies, employers, landlords, insurance companies and others in evaluating whether to extend credit to you.  The higher your credit score, the lower the assumed risk to lend you money.

While no specific definition of “good” is universally accepted, the general view is that a score of 660+ is considered “prime” or “A” credit.

The credit score most lenders use is called a FICO
® score, from Fair Isaac and Company (FICO), which created the risk models used by the major credit reporting agencies to compute credit scores. The FICO score from each credit reporting agency considers only the data in your credit report at that agency. If your current scores from the three credit reporting agencies are different, it's probably because the information those agencies have on you differs.

You can request to see your credit score from any of the three major consumer reporting companies or when you are requesting a free copy of your credit history. 

If your credit score is below desirable levels, your ability to get a loan or the interest rate you receive on a loan or credit card will be negatively affected. Late payments will lower your score, but establishing or re-establishing a good track record of making payments on time will raise your score.

Credit Report

A credit report is a report that brings together information about an individual's credit history, such as your total outstanding debt and if you repaid your debt on time. A credit report contains information on where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you've been sued, arrested, or filed for bankruptcy.

The three primary credit reporting agencies that collect your credit history are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. These consumer reporting companies sell the information in your report to creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses that use it to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, or renting a home.

You can request a copy of your credit report from all the major credit reporting agencies.  The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act requires each of these companies to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months.

The three nationwide consumer reporting companies have set up one central website, toll-free telephone number, and mailing address through which you can order your free annual report. To order:

  1. Go to http://www.annualcreditreport.com, or
  2. Call 877-322-8228, or
  3. Complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form on their web site and mail it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA   30348-5281.