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In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
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:
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.
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.