Friday, June 9, 2023

How To Get Credit Scores

Your Equifax Credit Score

How To Get A PERFECT Credit Score For $0

Equifax also lets you check your credit score and credit history by registering for a 30-day free trial of their subscription service. As with the other CRAs, you should check their terms and conditions carefully. And if you choose to continue with the service beyond the trial period, a fee would apply. You can also access your Equifax credit score and credit history without fees or subscribing to any service through Clearscore.

Fixing Errors In A Credit Report

Anyone who denies you credit, housing, insurance, or a job because of a credit report must give you the name, address, and telephone number of the credit reporting agency that provided the report. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act , you have the right to request a free report within 60 days if a company denies you credit based on the report.

You can get your credit report fixed if it contains inaccurate or incomplete information:

  • Contact both the credit reporting agency and the company that provided the information to the CRA.
  • Tell the CRA, in writing, what information you believe is inaccurate. Keep a copy of all correspondence.

Some companies may promise to repair or fix your credit for an upfront fee–but there is no way to remove negative information in your credit report if it is accurate.

How To Build Good Credit

Luckily, there are several steps that you can take to improve your credit score. Some of them may be things you work on over the course of weeks or months. Others are doable in a single day and will help your credit improve quickly:

  • Review your credit reports.
  • Get a handle on bill payments.
  • Use 30% or less of your available credit.
  • Limit requests for new credit.
  • Pad out a thin credit file.
  • Keep your old accounts open and deal with delinquencies.
  • Consider consolidating your debt.
  • Track your progress with credit monitoring.
  • Each of these steps, whether short-term or long-term, will help you improve your credit score and build good credit. Here’s a closer look at what’s involved in each step of the process to build good credit and how long you can expect each step to take.

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    What Affects My Credit Scores

    It’s important to understand the factors that go into determining your credit scores so you know how to improve them if necessary. For the FICO® Score, the credit score version you will receive through Experian, there are five main factors that impact your score. They are all weighted differently:

    When you receive your credit score, you should also get some guidelines on your score profile and why your score ranks where it does. This will include information on what’s hurting it and what’s helping your score, as in the image below:

    These guidelines will help you figure out what you need to do to maintain a good FICO® Score, and what you need to do to improve it. For example, if bad payment history is one of the reasons your FICO® Score is on the lower side, you should focus on paying your bills on time. Consider automating your payments so you never miss them again.

    Look For Issues On Your Credit Report

    Credit Score Range from 300 to 850

    If there are any issues on your credit report, fixing them could be a quick way to boost your score. You can get your credit report from all three major credit bureaus at You’re legally entitled to a free annual credit report from each credit bureau, but they’re currently offering free weekly credit reports through 2023.

    A free credit score and monitoring service is also a good way to stay up to date on your credit history. Several offer these services to cardholders.

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    How Do I Get Credit

    Do you want to build your credit history? You will need to pay bills that are included in a credit report.

    • Sometimes, utility companies put information into a credit report. Do you have utility bills in your name? That can help build credit.
    • Many credit cards put information into credit reports.
    • Sometimes, you can get a store credit card that can help build credit.
    • A secured credit card also can help you build your credit.

    Get Your Credit Score And Report For Free

    If you’ve ever applied for credit or a loan, there will be a credit report about you.

    You have a right to get a copy of your credit report for free every 3 months. It’s worth getting a copy at least once a year.

    Your credit report also includes a credit rating. This is the ‘band’ your credit score sits in .

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    Why Is My Credit Report Important

    Businesses look at your credit report when you apply for:

    • loans from a bank

    If you apply for one of these, the business wants to know if you pay your bills. The business also wants to know if you owe money to someone else. The business uses the information in your credit report to decide whether to give you a loan, a credit card, a job, or insurance.

    How Do I Improve My Credit

    How To Improve Your Credit Score Without Debt

    Look at your free credit report. The report will tell you how to improve your credit history. Only you can improve your credit. No one else can fix information in your credit report that is not good, but is correct.

    It takes time to improve your credit history. Here are some ways to help rebuild your credit.

    • Pay your bills by the date they are due. This is the most important thing you can do.
    • Lower the amount you owe, especially on your credit cards. Owing a lot of money hurts your credit history.
    • Do not get new credit cards if you do not need them. A lot of new credit hurts your credit history.
    • Do not close older credit cards. Having credit for a longer time helps your rating.

    After six to nine months of this, check your credit report again. You can use one of your free reports from Annual Credit Report.

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    How Often Can I Get A Free Report

    Federal law gives you the right to get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months. Through December 2023, everyone in the U.S. can get a free credit report each week from all three nationwide credit bureaus at

    Also, everyone in the U.S. can get six free credit reports per year through 2026 by visiting the Equifax website or by calling 1-866-349-5191. Thats in addition to the one free Equifax report you can get at

    Why Should I Check My Credit Score

    It is very important that you keep a close eye on your Credit Score. It is the best way to gauge your chances to get a line of credit. Another reason why you should track your score is to know if it dips, or if an error has been made by credit agencies while calculating your score. This will help you make timely amends.

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    Who Qualifies For The Educator Expense Tax Deduction

    Quick Answer

    Teachers, principals, counselors, aides and instructors at private or public K-12 schools can deduct up to $300 of their unreimbursed expenses for classroom supplies, continuing education and COVID-19 prevention in 2022. You can claim this deduction even if you dont itemize.

    In this article:

    Teachers spend an average of $750 of their own money each year for school supplies and classroom materials, according to If you’re a qualified K-12 educator, you may be eligible to deduct classroom or professional development expenses on your federal tax return. For the 2022 tax year, the educator expense deduction is increasing for the first time since 2008. It lets you deduct up to $300 of qualifying expenses, up from $250 in prior years.

    Here’s what you need to know to claim your deduction.

    Your Credit Scores Are A Reflection Of The Information On Your Credit Reports Information That Impacts Your Good Scores:

    7 Ways to Help You Earn an Excellent Credit Score
    Negative Information

    Late payments and accounts in collections can substantially lower excellent, great and good credit scores.

    Outdated Information

    Accounts dont stay on your credit reports forever. Removing outdated information that negatively impacts your good credit scores protects your rating.


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    Dispute Credit Report Errors

    A mistake on one of your credit reports could be pulling down your score. Disputing credit report errors can help you quickly improve your credit.

    You’re entitled to free reports from each of the three major credit bureaus. Use to request them and then check for mistakes, such as payments marked late when you paid on time, someone else’s credit activity mixed with yours, or negative information thats too old to be listed anymore.

    Once you’ve identified them, dispute those errors.

    Impact: Varies, but could be high if a creditor is reporting that you missed a payment when you didn’t.

    Time commitment: Medium to high. It takes some time to request and read your free credit reports, file disputes about errors and track the follow-up. But the process is worthwhile, especially if you’re trying to build your credit ahead of a milestone such as applying for a large loan. If you’re planning to apply for a mortgage, get disputes done with plenty of time to spare.

    How fast it could work: Varies. The credit bureaus have 30 days to investigate and respond. Some companies offer to dispute errors and quickly improve your credit, but proceed with caution.

    Reduce The Amount Of Debt You Owe

    Your , or the balance of your debt to available credit, contributes 30% to a FICO Score’s calculation. It can be easier to clean up than payment history, but it requires financial discipline and understanding the tips below.

  • Keep balances low on credit cards and other revolving credit: high outstanding debt can negatively affect a credit score.

  • Pay off debt rather than moving it around: the most effective way to improve your credit scores in this area is by paying down your revolving debt. In fact, owing the same amount but having fewer open accounts may lower your scores. Come up with a payment plan that puts most of your payment budget towards the highest interest cards first, while maintaining minimum payments on your other accounts.

  • Don’t close unused credit cards as a short-term strategy to raise your scores.

  • Don’t open several new credit cards you don’t need to increase your available credit: this approach could backfire and actually lower your credit scores.

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    Is It Safe To Check My Credit Score For Free

    Checking your free credit scores on Credit Karma wont affect your credit, and any attempts to monitor your credit with Credit Karma will not appear on your credit reports.

    If you want to learn more about how Credit Karma collects and uses your data, take a look at our privacy policy.

    You can also read Credit Karmas security practices to learn more about Credit Karmas commitment to securing your data and personal information as if it were our own.

    Ready to help your credit go the distance? Log in or create an account to get started.

    How Do I Order My Free Annual Credit Reports

    How To Raise Your Credit Score By 200 Points

    The three nationwide credit bureaus have a centralized website, toll-free telephone number, and mailing address so you can order your free annual reports in one place. Do not contact the three nationwide credit bureaus individually. These are the only ways to order your free credit reports:

    Annual Credit Report Request Service P.O. Box 105281 Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

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    Why Your Free Credit Scores From Equifax And Transunion May Be Different

    You may think that your VantageScore 3.0 credit scores from Equifax and TransUnion should be the same, but thats not always the case.

    Remember, VantageScore 3.0 is ultimately just a scoring model. The three-digit number it produces depends largely on the information that lenders report to each credit bureau.

    When credit scores that use the same model differ between credit reporting bureaus, its typically because they dont have the same information. Here are a few of the reasons you might see different credit scores.

    • Your scores are from different dates. Different bureaus receive information from lenders at different times. If new information is accounted for in one credit score and not the other, the scores may differ.
    • Your scores are calculated using different credit reports. Its up to lenders to decide which credit bureaus they report your information two. Some report to all three major credit bureaus, while others report to only one or two. If your Equifax credit report has information that your TransUnion report doesnt , your scores may differ.
    • Your credit reports contain incorrect information. Its possible that one or several of your credit reports contain errors. Thats why we recommend regularly checking your credit reports for errors that may affect your scores anddisputing those errors, if need be.

    Always Make Payments On Time

    Once you have a credit card, make sure to pay your bill on time every month. Your payment history is the single most important factor in your credit score, accounting for 35% of your FICO® Scoreâ .

    Keeping your credit utilization ratio low is another way to build good credit. This ratio refers to the percentage of your available credit you’re using. If your credit card has a limit of $200 and you’re carrying a balance of $100, you’re using 50% of your available credit. Maintaining a credit utilization ratio below 30% of your credit limit will help to boost your credit score. Paying your balance in full each month helps tooâand will also prevent you from accruing interest on your purchases.

    Do you have any outstanding student loans? Paying those bills on time can help improve your credit score. Student loans are installment credit, while credit cards are revolving credit. Having a mix of both types of credit helps to increase your credit score. Finally, if you pay your own cellphone bills or utility bills, consider signing up for Experian Boost®ø, a free service that adds on-time payments for those services and more to your credit report, potentially helping improve your FICO® Score.

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    The Difference Between Hard And Soft Inquiries

    Since checking your own credit score is a soft inquiry that doesnt ding your rating, its important to know what constitutes a hard inquiry and how a hard inquiry affects your score. Hard inquiries, which are also commonly referred to as hard pulls, occur when a financial institution pulls your entire to determine whether youre a good candidate as a borrower. This kind of action can result in a small reduction in your credit score that affects your rating for a few months, though the existence of a hard pull will hang around for approximately two years.

    Scores Of 670 To 749 Are Considered By Mostlenders To Be Good Credit Scores

    Credit Score Breakdown
    Great + Excellent

    Lenders favor Great credit scores , and consumers with Excellent credit scores fare even better because they are considered prime borrowers and receive the most favorable interest rates on loans.

    Fair + Poor

    Scores in the Fair and Poor categories are generally not offered the most favorable interest rates on credit cards or auto, home and personal loans.

    Very Poor

    Consumers with Very Poor credit scores are considered subprime borrowers, making it difficult for them to gain credit from many traditional lenders.

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    How Credit Scores Are Created

    Your credit reports include information about your and activity. The credit bureaus rely on credit scoring models such as VantageScore and FICO to translate all this information into a number.

    While each credit scoring model uses a unique formula, the models generally account for similar credit information. Your scores are typically based on factors such as your history of paying bills, the amount of available credit youre using and the types of debt you have .

    Federal law prohibits credit scores from factoring in personal information like your race, gender, religion, marital status or national origin. That being said, its not necessarily true that the American financial system is unbiased or that credit lending and credit scoring systems dont consider factors affected by bias. To learn more about racial justice in lending and initiatives seeking to create change, connect with organizations leading the fight, like the ACLU.

    Strategies That Will Quickly Get You A Better Credit Score

    Thomas J Catalano is a CFP and Registered Investment Adviser with the state of South Carolina, where he launched his own financial advisory firm in 2018. Thomas’ experience gives him expertise in a variety of areas including investments, retirement, insurance, and financial planning.

    Your is one of the most important measures of your financial health. It tells lenders at a glance how responsibly you use credit. The better your score, the easier you will find it to be approved for new loans or new lines of credit. A higher credit score can also open the door to the lowest available interest rates when you borrow.

    If you would like to boost your credit score, there are a number of quick, simple things that you can do. While it might take a few months to see an improvement in your credit score, you can start working toward a better score in just a few hours.

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