Even if you pay your bills on time, your credit score could suffer due to mistakes on your credit report. Keeping your report accurate can make the difference between getting the car or house you've always wanted, or having your loan application denied. Do you know how to get a free copy of your credit report? Take our quiz and find out how.
A poll conducted by the Chicago Sun Times found that just under 30 percent of Americans understand what a credit score is.
Your credit score will determine whether you can get a loan. It can also effect whether you get certain jobs.
There are three major companies that report credit histories: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
The company that developed the FICO scoring model is called the Fair Isaac Corporation.
The bottom of the credit ladder, according to FICO, is 300, while the top is 850. A score above 750 is considered strong enough to get most loans.
Though credit records have been around in some form for a long time, the FICO system became a global standard when Equifax released its reports in 1989.
As many as 4.5 billion credit facts are reported per month, which amounts to nearly 50 billion facts per year. These facts are the basis for over one billion annual credit reports.
Credit reports are sold by the three major companies to lenders for a total revenue of more than $4 billion per year.
Credit scores are weighted such that 35 percent of the score is based on your payment history. As you continue to pay your bills on time, your score improves.
You have a legal right to one copy per year from each of the three credit reporting companies.
Federal law requires that the credit rating companies report cases of suspected fraud to the consumer.
Though many places claim to offer free credit reports, only the Annual Credit Report Request Service (ACRRS) offers truly free reports.
Even though the information is available and free, a Gallup poll found that only 28 percent of Americans are likely to check their credit scores.
Giving out your social security number and other personal information makes you susceptible to identity theft. If you want a copy of your credit report, you should get it from the ACRRS.
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