Your Credit Library

What’s the difference between a credit report and a credit score? How do they affect me?

Great questions! Your credit score is the numerical representation of the contents in your credit report. The information in your credit report is evaluated and calculated to help lenders assess the level of risk involved in their decision. The better your score, the more likely it is that your application will be approved, often with a better interest rate.

What factors determine a credit score?

There are a variety of "score factors” used to determine a person’s creditworthiness as expressed through credit scores. These factors are important to know because they will affect your score either negatively or positively. These factors are:

  • Variety of credit types
  • History of previous payments
  • Activity with credit inquiries
  • Amount of debt
  • How long credit has been open

Do companies really care about my credit score?

Yes they do! Companies use your credit score for a variety of reasons. In fact, your credit score is the tool used most often by financial companies, creditors, employers and even insurance companies when determining your creditworthiness. Depending on how long a person has been using credit, credit reports can be extremely lengthy. Because of this, most companies look at the credit score as “snapshot” of that individual’s report, helping them make quick, informed decisions.

Bear in mind that companies don’t always look at your scores/reports from Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Some companies choose to work with all 3 bureaus, while others may choose to focus exclusively on scores/reports from a particular bureau. There are not set rules regarding this and is often determined by the size, specific industry, or even the location of a company. .

What if I want to see my own credit report?

Glad you asked! We highly recommend that everyone become familiar with their credit reports and how it works. A simple way to do that is to visit Federal law entitles you to one free credit report, from any of the 3 credit bureaus, every 12 months.

However, as cases of identity theft and data breaches continue to increase, most people feel that waiting 12 months between credit reports is too risky. As a member, you’ll not only have the ability to check your credit reports whenever you want, you’ll also get 24/7 credit monitoring across all 3 bureaus. Imagine the peace of mind you’ll have knowing that your credit is being observed constantly, and that you’ll automatically be alerted if there are ever suspicious or irregular activities in your credit profile.

Do my credit reports get updated frequently?

Typically, credit reports get updated every month. However, it gets tricky because companies submit their monthly updates at different times during the month--some might submit their updates at the beginning of each month and some submit at the end of the month. That’s why it’s advantageous to continuously check your reports to verify that any/all updates have been taken into account.

Can you explain the basics of credit monitoring?

Credit monitoring is a service that continuously monitors someone’s credit to keep an eye out for unanticipated changes like new inquiries, missed payments or even new accounts.

Not only is a credit monitoring service a great tool against issues like identity theft, it is also a great way to proactively improve and track your overall credit wellness.

Ok, what exactly is a credit inquiry?

Generally speaking, credit inquiries represent anytime you apply for anything tied to credit; financing a car, getting a loan, opening credit cards, signing a lease, etc. Inquiries are made by the financial institution you hope to use for any of those situations, because they’re looking to better understand your credit worthiness. Keep in mind that nobody can make credit inquiries without your permission--so it’s very important to look into any inquiries that you don’t recognize.

What sorts of benefits come with a membership?

As a member you will you get unlimited access to your full credit reports and scores from all 3 credit bureaus--and--credit report consultations to help you understand all the information in those reports. You’ll get a 24-hour credit monitoring service with awesome features like credit alerts updating you anytime something in your credit profile changes. Finally, you’ll have exclusive access to our expert credit education center!

How can I view my credit reports and scores

It’s simple--you’ll have access to your credit scores and reports immediately after enrollment. When you sign up, you will be redirected to our membership dashboard and can use the tabs at the top to navigate between membership features.

Where do my credit alerts show up?

When you log onto the members-only dashboard, just look at the top of the page. You will see a 3-credit alerts tab. Just click on that tab you will see that it displays the alert you have received, along with a notice informing you that you will probably want to take a moment to review the information.

I received a credit alert, now what?

Great question! Depending on what type of alert/notification you receive, the first step is usually to pull up your report and confirm whether or not what showed up on your report is indeed accurate. For example, if you have recently been applying for credit of any type, receiving a “new inquiry” alert could be from that application process. However, if you are not able to confirm that the inquiry was linked to you, then you need to contact the company listed on the inquiry as soon as possible. Checking these alerts help you to take the necessary steps to productively resolve any issues that arise.