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. How many free credit reports can you get per year?

    Individuals with valid Social Security numbers are permitted to receive up to three credit reports every 12 months rather ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Is it possible to get a free credit report from Equifax?

    It is possible to get a free credit report from Equifax, as well as the other two major credit bureaus, Experian and TransUnion. ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Do free credit reports affect your credit score?

    Free credit reports do not impact your credit score. Credit inquiries are divided into two categories: soft inquiries and ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Does a free credit report show your credit score?

    The free credit reports available from the three credit reporting agencies do not include your credit score. Under the 2 ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Is getting a free credit report safe?

    Getting a free credit report can be safe if you are careful about the particular website from which you get it. Credit reports ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How accurate are free credit reports?

    Free credit reports are usually considered mostly accurate, which is why it is important to regularly examine your own reports. ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Credit & Loans

    Before you Buy that Home: Shop for the Best Loan

    Before even starting to search for a home, the first thing you need to do is get pre-qualified for a home mortgage.
  2. Credit & Loans

    The Best Alternatives to Payday Loans

    There are better ways to handle a financial emergency between paychecks, including the 12 described here.
  3. Personal Finance

    The Ten Commandments of Personal Finance

    Here are the simple financial Ten Commandments that, when faithfully followed, can lead to a secure economic future.
  4. Investing

    What a Family Tradition Taught Me About Investing

    We share some lessons from friends and family on saving money and planning for retirement.
  5. Savings

    These 10 Habits Will Help You Reach Financial Freedom

    Learn 10 key habits for achieving financial freedom, including smart budgeting, staying abreast of new tax deductions and the importance of proper maintenance.
  6. Credit & Loans

    Have Bad Credit? 6 Ways to a Personal Loan Anyway

    It'll cost you more, but borrowing is definitely doable. Here's how to proceed.
  7. Investing

    How to Raise Your Credit Score Quickly

    Here are the best tips for raising your credit score quickly.
  8. Credit & Loans

    How Credit Card Delinquency Works

    When you pay less than the minimum monthly payment on your credit cards, you become delinquent.
  9. Credit & Loans

    5 Bad Moves That Will Torpedo Your Credit Score

    Your credit score can change if you aren't careful. From missing payments to carrying high balances, there are many ways to torpedo your credit score.
  10. Credit & Loans

    5 Common Misconceptions About Your Credit Report

    Your credit report is one of the most important factors in determining your ability to get loans and new credit and has a major influence on your rates.
  1. Credit Rating

    An assessment of the credit worthiness of a borrower in general ...
  2. Jamming

    A scam perpetrated by bogus credit repair firms that involves ...
  3. Furnisher

    A company that provides information about a consumer, including ...
  4. Semi-Secured Credit Card

    A type of credit card offered to individuals who carry a higher ...
  5. Mixed File

    A credit bureau record that contains more than one consumer’s ...
  6. Re-Aging Debt

    Restarting the clock on a debt’s statute of limitations.

You May Also Like

Trading Center