Your credit report is almost like a report card for your debt history. It shows your personal information, including name and address. It also lists all your creditors with current balances, those with paid-off balances from the last 7-10 years, and those accounts that are in arrears. It also lists all the inquiries that have come in for new credit; with those you've applied for coded differently than unsolicited offers. Finally, it records how well you've kept up with your payment agreements with each of these creditors and what your last updated balances were.

The credit score that often accompanies a credit report is a numerical representation of your relationship to credit. To develop your credit score, FICO analyzes your debts against your limits, your history of on-time and late payments, the number of accounts you have, the various types of accounts you have (such as revolving, installment and so on), the length of your overall credit history and the amount of new credit you've been applying or. It takes all of that data and weights it according to a proprietary formula, creating a score that can range from 300-850. The higher your credit score is, the better. A score of 775-850 is like getting an A on your use of credit - and lenders will respond to that by offering you better terms on new loans.

  1. Will my credit score suffer from debt consolidation or refinancing?

    You have several options for reducing your debt burden. You can enroll in a professional debt management plan, or consider ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can I file for bankruptcy more than once?

    Filing bankruptcy is never a simple decision, but sometimes it is the best thing you can do in your current financial situation. ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Why would someone change their Social Security number?

    In general, the Social Security Administration, or SSA, does not encourage citizens to change their Social Security numbers, ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What types of liens are seen as good and which are bad for my credit?

    Creditors that allow purchases to be made through financing often require property to be pledged against a credit account; ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are the typical requirements to qualify for closed end credit?

    Typical requirements for a consumer to qualify for closed-end credit include satisfactory income level and credit history, ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the best way to start to rebuild your credit after a bankruptcy?

    Bankruptcies can be devastating to your credit score. Even worse, a bankruptcy will be listed on your credit report for between ... Read Full Answer >>
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