What is my credit score and what does it mean?
Your credit score is a complete summary of your credit report information represented as a single number. Your credit score helps lenders determine how reliable you’ll be in repaying a loan or in making timely credit payments. Having a higher credit score means you’ll be more likely to get approved for the credit you’re applying for.
How is my credit score calculated?
Your credit score is calculated using an equation that evaluates multiple data points from all three credit reporting agencies – also known as “score factors”. Your information is then compared to other patterns that are found in thousands of past credit reports. From there, your level of “credit risk” can be determined.
Every score factor can affect your score either negatively or positively. Here are a few factors that can negatively affect your score, listed from greatest to least:
- Too many credit inquiries
- Credit delinquencies
- Opening too many new lines of credit
- Having an average balance of revolving credit that is too high
- Having a shortage of mortgage accounts
Why do companies use my credit score?
Companies can use your credit score in many ways. In fact, your credit score is one of the most-used tools by creditors, employers, and even finance and insurance companies. These companies often rely on your credit score when they are determining your creditworthiness. Credit scores these days are considered to be a “credit snapshot” of you, and companies will use this snapshot for quick credit decisions. Creditors can also get your full credit report, which they do in an effort to review and identify a greater set of information that will help them determine your level of credit risk.
The three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) typically offer their clients industry-specific scores as well. These reports allow lenders in specific industries to get a better understanding of the industry-specific items that are available when evaluating your credit. For example, car industry lenders might want a credit score model that accurately evaluates the history of your auto loan payments. This industry-specific score will be based on all of the available data presented by an agency, but may be different from one agency to another. You should always remember that credit score ratings are often different, depending on the kind of score model being requested (for example auto, mortgage, renters, etc.).
How can I view my own credit report?
Everyone can access their own credit report. By federal law, you are entitled to a free credit report once a year. One quick and easy way to get your credit report is by going to www.annualcreditreport.com. You’ll be able to log in to view your credit report from all 3 credit reporting agencies every 12 months.
But of course, that is not the same as credit monitoring. If you would rather have your credit report monitored 24/7, you can just choose ChkScr.com. You’ll be able to get your personal report online whenever. We’ll monitor all three bureaus, so if we ever detect any suspicious or irregular account activity, we’ll contact you immediately.
How often are credit reports updated?
Credit reports are typically updated once every 30 days, but the specific day of the month will vary between creditors. Because this is not standard, agencies can receive updates from one creditor on the 20th of the month and from a different creditor on the 2nd of the month. That’s why it’s always a good idea for people to get access to their credit report regularly.
How would you best define credit monitoring?
Credit monitoring is a service that continuously monitors your credit for changes and updates. These changes and updates could include new inquiries, missed payments, or any new accounts. But remember, if you are a ChkScr.com member, then we’ll contact you when changes appear on your credit file.
Credit monitoring can be an effective tool for anyone looking to fight identity theft. If someone tries to open an account in your name, you’ll be able to catch it immediately. Without credit monitoring, you may be at risk of someone stealing your identity and running up debt in your name.
And what is a credit inquiry?
A credit inquiry is when a company submits a request for additional information so they can get a better understanding of your creditworthiness. These financial companies generally use elements of your credit report to help them decide how much credit they should issue. Generally, the most common inquiry is when someone applies for a home loan, an auto loan, or to rent a new apartment. Inquiries cannot be made without your permission, however.
What kinds of benefits come with my ChkScr.com membership?
As part of your ChkScr.com membership, you’ll get unlimited access to your credit reports and scores. You’ll also get credit report consultations, 24-hour credit monitoring, email alerts, and unlimited access to our credit education library. And of course, you’ll also have full access to your credit reports and scores.
How can I view my credit reports and credit scores?
You can view your credit reports and credit scores as soon as you sign up. After you’ve signed up, you’ll automatically be taken to the member dashboard. On the member dashboard, you’ll be able to navigate between your benefits using the tabs at the top of the page.
How do I view my credit alerts?
As soon as you log onto the members dashboard, you can find them at the top of the page. Just click the “3-Credit Alerts” tab. Then click on the tab displaying the alert you received.
I just received a credit alert. What do I do?
After you’ve received a credit alert, you’ll need to evaluate the alert before you can move on to the next steps. For example, if you get an alert telling you that there is a new inquiry on your report, you’ll need do consider a few things before taking action. Perhaps you recently applied for credit – then that could possibly explain the alert. But if the inquiry was not you, then you’ll need to call the company listed on that credit inquiry.