Your credit report alone does not say whether or not you pose a credit risk to potential lenders – instead, it provides lenders with the data they need to make that decision on their own. The financial information has been organized on a credit report via one of the three national credit bureaus. These credit bureaus, also known as credit reporting agencies, collect information about your financial actions from lenders, landlords and creditors and sell that information to businesses so those businesses can make an educated decision as to whether or not they want to do business with you.
There are several scoring methods for calculating credit scores, but the most common is the Fair Isaac and Company (FICO) method. FICO is an independent company that developed the software and scoring method used by most banks, lenders, and major credit bureaus such as equifax fcra. The three major credit bureaus each use their own versions of the FICO score, so your credit score from one credit bureau is likely to be slightly different from your credit score from another credit bureau.
Credit score values usually range from 300 to 850 (the range used by FICO); other models use a broader range, such as 150 to 930. In general, consumers with credit scores of 700 or above are offered better interest rates and a broader range of financing options than consumers with credit scores lower than 700.
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All parts of your credit report – your payment history, debt, types of credit, etc. – affect your credit score, but some parts affect it more than others. In general, the breakdown of the approximate value that each part of your credit report adds to your credit score calculation is as follows:
- Payment history – 35%
- Your debt – 30%
- The length of your credit history – 15%
- The types of credit you use – 10%
- The new credit on your credit report – 10%
Because your credit report has such a great impact on what you can do financially, it is important that you check your credit report regularly. By checking your free credit report before you make a big financial move, you will get a good sense of where you stand financially before you are surprised at a negotiating table.
And perhaps even more importantly, by reviewing your free credit report you scan your financial history for any signs of identity theft – a rampant crime these days. Your credit report lists all accounts open in your name, so if you see any accounts you do not remember opening or any other information about yourself or your finances that seems suspicious, you can take care of the situation right away.Click on the link below to see your latest credit reports and scores within seconds!