Simply put, your credit score is the number used to predict how likely you are to pay back a loan and whether you will pay on time. Your credit score starts with the information about you from your credit report. A mathematical formula – called a scoring model – is then used to create your credit score.
Credit scores are used by companies to make decisions such as whether to approve a mortgage at a certain rate or issue a credit card. Different lenders use different scoring formulas, so your score can vary. Usually a higher score makes it easier to qualify for a loan and may result in a better interest rate. Most scores range from 300-850.
Remember: It’s just a score. It doesn’t define you. And credit scores can change. Lenders use a wide variety of scoring models and data to determine your likelihood to pay back your loan on time. But one thing is constant – the better your credit score, the better interest rates you will receive. So your goal, no matter your score, should be to get it as high as you can by paying on-time if possible.
Beyond your credit score is a credit report. It contains information about your credit including bill repayment history and the status of your credit accounts. Your credit report is very important. It helps lenders decide whether or not they want to authorize a loan, and what interest rate you will receive.
Some things you can find in your credit report include:
Credit bureaus look at all of this data and then create the report.
You have the legal right to receive one free credit report annually from the three biggest bureaus. Annualcreditreport.com is a resource that can help. There are also alternative bureaus that collect information. Feel free to visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for a list of several of these companies. They can be very helpful in both reviewing and understanding your credit report.
Good question: We made a video called Building Good Credit to answer it in detail. For starters, here’s what you should know:
Visit AnnualCreditReport.com to get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three big nationwide credit-reporting companies. You can receive a free credit report from each reporting company once every 12 months.
And if online is not your thing, you can:
Call (877) 322-8228
Download and complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Keep in mind that your free credit report does not include a credit score. At RISE we think having good credit is really important, so we offer our customers their TransUnion credit score for free. To get access to your free TransUnion credit score, visit our Credit Score Plus page to sign up!
Getting your free report is easy, but knowing what to look for isn’t so much. First, start by making sure the report only has information about you. Some things to keep an eye out for include accounts that do not belong to you, addresses of places where you did not live, names of employers you did not work for, or information that should no longer be on your credit report, such as a bankruptcy that is more than ten years old. If it doesn’t belong to you, make sure it’s not being held against you.
If you find errors, it’s important that you dispute them as soon as you can by contacting the credit bureau from whom you obtained the report and the creditor in question.
Contact both the credit reporting company and the company that provided the information. You should explain what you think is wrong, why, and include copies of any documents you have that may support your dispute. Here’s a resource to help you:
Short answer: No. Long answer: When we send you an offer that shows up as a “soft” inquiry on your credit report, it in no way impacts your credit score. If you decide to apply for credit, that can be reflected. Keep in mind that your credit score actually can and will be affected by the number of credit/debit cards or other loans for which you apply.
At RISE, we want to partner with you on your financial comeback. That’s why we report back to the credit bureaus when you make on-time payments. It’s our way of saying, “Great job!” And that can translate to improving your credit rating.
Most alternative lenders don’t report to the credit bureaus. However, there are specialty credit reporting agencies that collect some of your loan history. It is possible that lenders may access this information when considering you for future loans.
Truth is, if you don’t pay back your loan it can negatively affect your credit. Very often when this happens, your lender will sell your loan debt to a debt collector, who will report the debt to one of the major national credit bureaus. Debts in collection could impact your credit score.
All that said, borrowing from RISE is intended to be a better option as we strive to help improve your credit and financial success.
Referenced the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for accurate information. For more helpful answers to your questions you can visit their site at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/askcfpb/