How can I get my credit scores, including credit scores from all three credit reporting bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion? My credit score or credit report score tells me what lenders think about me as a credit risk.
When I apply for a charge card, refinancing, or auto loan, the prospective lender will check my credit score with one of the three credit bureaus. The credit rating agency will return a score ranging from 300 to 850, based on an algorithm that assigns a credit ranking from such factors as bill-paying history, credit-utilization ratio, and the number of inquiries on my credit report.
The primary factor in determining my credit scores is whether I have paid my bills on time. Even a couple of late bill payments will have a negative effect on my credit ranking.
My credit utilization ratio, another important element in assessing my credit score, calculates my debt as a percentage of the amount of overall credit available to me. Generally, the lower my draw-down on my available credit, the better the effect on my credit report score.
Multiple credit inquiries over a short period of time will hurt my scores. The credit rating agencies will view repeated credit report inquiries as suggesting that I might have some pressing need for money and, consequently, pose a greater risk of default.
My credit score ratings are also influenced by such extraordinary events as bankruptcy and foreclosure filings. A bankruptcy filing will have a devastating effect on my credit score, causing the score to drop as much as 200 points. It will take several years for your credit score to recover from bankruptcy filings.
Personal finance experts recommend that I get my credit scores so I can fix errors in my credit report and improve my credit score prior to applying for credit.
Information contained in my credit report and score issued by one credit bureau may be different from the information reported by the others. For example, my Experian report may show an unpaid credit card or mortgage that is not reflected on my TransUnion and Experian credit reports. So, it is important that I check my credit score with all three credit bureaus. Only my three bureau credit score, also known as the 3-1 credit score or 3 credit score, will give me my credit history as reported by all three credit bureaus.
Many consumers are pleased with the Free Triple Credit Score provided by CreditScore360, which includes all three credit scores issued by Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Here is a link to their site:
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