credit advice tips resources

credit advice tips resources from Trans Union, Equifax and Experian

Your credit score is a three-digit number that is calculated from your credit report to gauge your reliability as a borrower. It can be used to predict whether you’ll pay back your loans or pay debts on time, and it also helps to determine whether you are generally a good risk for lender.

Credit scores typically range from 300 to 850, and each of the three traditional credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) calculates your credit score based on the information it has in your credit report.

The credit reporting agencies don’t seek out information from creditors or lenders, and they can only build your credit report based on the information reported to them. Your credit score is determined by a number of factors in your credit report, including:

  • The number of accounts you have.
  • The types of accounts.
  • Your available credit.
  • The length of your credit history.
  • Your payment history.

You’re entitled to one free credit report from each credit reporting agency, once a year, from annualcreditreport.com. You can also get your credit score at that time for a small fee, about $9. If you want to have more regular access to your credit report and score, you might want to consider a credit monitoring service from one of the credit reporting agencies.

It’s important to check your credit report regularly because if any of the information is inaccurate, if any of your accounts are missing, or if there is information that doesn’t belong to you, it can hurt your credit score. If you find inaccurate information, you should immediately file a dispute with the credit reporting agency.

Accurate information is important for your credit score, but any bankruptcies, collections, foreclosures, late payments, or other financial problems can negatively affect it. However, negative information only stays on your credit report a set period of time—usually seven years—so positive behavior like on-time payments and responsible credit usage can improve your score over time.

Diane Moogalian is Vice President of Operations for Equifax Personal Solutions with responsibility for operational strategy and execution in support of customer care and fulfillment of credit and identity-related products for consumers.

 

from equifax:

How Your Credit Score Is Calculated

Written by Diane Moogalian on July 10, 2013 in Credit  |   161 comments

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how your credit score is calculatedLast updated July 10, 2013 to reflect the price of obtaining a credit score from annualcreditreport.com.

Your credit score is a three-digit number that is calculated from your credit report to gauge your reliability as a borrower. It can be used to predict whether you’ll pay back your loans or pay debts on time, and it also helps to determine whether you are generally a good risk for lender.

Credit scores typically range from 300 to 850, and each of the three traditional credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) calculates your credit score based on the information it has in your credit report.

The credit reporting agencies don’t seek out information from creditors or lenders, and they can only build your credit report based on the information reported to them. Your credit score is determined by a number of factors in your credit report, including:

  • The number of accounts you have.
  • The types of accounts.
  • Your available credit.
  • The length of your credit history.
  • Your payment history.

You’re entitled to one free credit report from each credit reporting agency, once a year, from annualcreditreport.com. You can also get your credit score at that time for a small fee, about $9. If you want to have more regular access to your credit report and score, you might want to consider a credit monitoring service from one of the credit reporting agencies.

It’s important to check your credit report regularly because if any of the information is inaccurate, if any of your accounts are missing, or if there is information that doesn’t belong to you, it can hurt your credit score. If you find inaccurate information, you should immediately file a dispute with the credit reporting agency.

Accurate information is important for your credit score, but any bankruptcies, collections, foreclosures, late payments, or other financial problems can negatively affect it. However, negative information only stays on your credit report a set period of time—usually seven years—so positive behavior like on-time payments and responsible credit usage can improve your score over time.

Diane Moogalian is Vice President of Operations for Equifax Personal Solutions with responsibility for operational strategy and execution in support of customer care and fulfillment of credit and identity-related products for consumers.

Experian:

Removing a fraud alert after verifying you are not a victim

Posted on Jul 17 2013 by experian.team

Dear Experian,

Is it a problem if I do not remove a fraud alert once I have confirmed that no breach was possible? Or do I have to remove the alert? I assume having the alert for 90 days is OK since I can prove who I am and do not expect to apply for any new credit.

– AJY

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Violating rental agreement could ruin your credit

Posted on Jul 17 2013 by experian.team

Dear Experian,

Could a violation of a rental agreement ruin my credit even though I don’t owe any rent?

– MST

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Accounts still show payment history and amount past due when sent to collections

Posted on Jul 17 2013 by experian.team

Dear Experian,

I have a couple of accounts that were purchased by another lender or collection agency. I have paid them off and they do show closed, but they still show a balance. Is this negative? Should I dispute?

– RYD

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Experian does not extend credit or provide credit cards

Posted on Jul 17 2013 by experian.team

Dear Experian,

How can I get a credit card with Experian?

– SHL

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Removing ex-spouse’s address from your credit report

Posted on Jul 03 2013 by experian.team

Dear Experian,

I had you remove my ex-wife’s address from my report, and now it is back on there. I need to know why, and I would like it to be removed and to stay removed.

– RPR

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Dispute results letter is sent automatically

Posted on Jul 03 2013 by experian.team

Dear Experian,

Can I get a letter about the results of a dispute after the 30 day mark? I am trying to buy a house and they need the letter.

– KLZ

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You will not receive a notice to remove a fraud alert

Posted on Jul 03 2013 by experian.team

Dear Experian,

I have not been contacted to lift a fraud alert on my account to approve a recent credit inquiry. Should I receive a request to remove the alert when I apply for credit?

– JWL

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How to add a telephone number to a fraud alert

Posted on Jul 03 2013 by experian.team

Dear Experian,

How do I add a telephone number to an extended credit alert?

– LKK

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Unrecognized Social Security number could indicate fraud

Posted on Jun 20 2013 by experian.team

Dear Experian,

My Social Security number is reporting incorrectly. How can I get this fixed?

– BWR

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“Paid in full” charged off account is better than “settled for less than owed”

Posted on Jun 20 2013 by experian.team

Dear Experian,

If you have a charged off account, is it better for it to show “paid in full” or “settled for less?”

– JMN

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Secured credit card can help build credit history and credit scores

Posted on Jun 20 2013 by experian.team

Dear Experian,

A bank has a new credit card for those with poor credit. They say you have to put down a $300 deposit, and after that deposit they’ll give you the card. The bank told me it will help me bring up my credit score. Is that true?

– ERL

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Cancelling 7-year fraud alert to qualify for housing program

Posted on Jun 20 2013 by experian.team

Dear Experian,

How do I cancel a 7-year fraud alert once I create it? I am in the process of looking for new housing and believe I would have to rather quickly cancel the fraud alert once it is created if I hear that low income housing programs are in the process of checking my credit. I would not want this fraud alert to have a negative effect on my credit status.

– SRV

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Why closing a credit card can hurt your credit scores

Posted on Jun 05 2013 by experian.team

Dear Experian,

Why does closing a credit card you are no longer using negatively affect your credit?

– VNO

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Balance on collection account may not be updated until it is paid in full

Posted on Jun 05 2013 by experian.team

Dear Experian,

I have a “charge off” credit card account on my credit report that I have been repaying for over a year. I am paying the original creditor, as they handled their own collections. Why aren’t these payments showing on my credit report?

– KML

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Tax lien automatically updated to show it is satisfied and released

Posted on Jun 05 2013 by experian.team

Dear Experian,

I have a tax lien on my report that has been satisfied and released by the State of Ohio and the clerk of courts. How do I report this to Experian and have my credit report show the release of the lien?

– RGK

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Fraud alert stopping satellite TV application

Posted on Jun 05 2013 by experian.team

Dear Experian,

I cannot sign up for satellite television because they say we have a fraud alert attached to our credit history. We do not need a fraud alert. How do we get rid of it?

– FCS

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Collection account payments should never be sent to Experian

Posted on May 23 2013 by experian.team

Dear Experian,

I recently looked at my credit report and saw that I owe two debts, and Experian is the collector. My question is where do I send the payment? I have been trying to pay it for a while now with no luck. Can you help?

– PDR

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Bankruptcy will show in your credit report even though it was dismissed

Posted on May 23 2013 by experian.team

Dear Experian,

We filed for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in June 2009. The Bankruptcy was never approved or discharged, but was dismissed a few months later. We dealt with all of our creditors individually after that. Does the Chapter 13 stay on our credit report even though it was never approved by the court?

– DLV

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Transferred/closed student loan history still affects credit scores

Posted on May 23 2013 by experian.team

Dear Experian,

I recently filed a dispute to get the status of my federal student loans changed. They were reported as delinquent because of missed payments. However there was a forbearance put on the account, and after the dispute, the status was updated to transferred/closed. Should my score improve with this update?

– CMW

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Replacing a lost security freeze PIN number

Posted on May 22 2013 by experian.team

Dear Experian,

I placed a security freeze on my account and have misplaced the PIN needed to temporarily remove the freeze. How do I get a replacement PIN?

– MCH

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You may still be liable for balance owed on deleted account

Posted on May 08 2013 by experian.team

Dear Experian,

Am I still liable for an account that I disputed and that was deleted from my credit report?

– MGB

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Debit bureau reports not a part of your Experian credit report

Posted on May 08 2013 by experian.team

Dear Experian,

How long does ChexSystems information remain on file? Why does it prevent one from opening a CD, savings account or mutual fund?

– SHF

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Not enough activity to generate credit score

Posted on May 08 2013 by experian.team

Dear Experian,

Recently we were told my husband’s credit report with Experian was not reporting and that his credit score is not available. We received a message that says “Factor 9002, Risk Score not available due to model exclusion criteria.” What do we need to do to correct this?

– RCH

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Foreclosure proceedings started

Posted on May 08 2013 by experian.team

Dear Experian,

I have a “Foreclosure was started” comment on my Experian report. We have made our payments on time for the last 30 months. What should the comment be changed to in order to show that we are no longer in foreclosure and that we are now current? I have seen “Paid Foreclosure.” Would that be accurate?

– RJP

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Authorized user accounts could factor in to credit scores

Posted on Apr 24 2013 by experian.team

Dear Experian,

Do items on my credit report in which I am listed as an “authorized user” contribute to my score?

– DRH

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