YOUR CREDIT REPORT IS IMPORTANT
One of the most important items in your financial life is your credit report. It can determine where you live, what you drive, and how much you pay for insurance. For a small business owner, it can determine if the business lives or dies.
Where does one go to obtain an official copy of your credit report? You can use many credit monitoring services that are available to the general public for a fee, but these are not official as they do have much missing information.
Let’s go over some of the basics.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act, which was enacted in 1970, tells us that you can receive one free Credit Report every 12 months from each nationwide credit bureau and other nationwide specialty consumer reporting agencies. The major three are Experian, Equifax and Transunion. It also states that you have a right to know your credit score, however, this is not something that is offered for free: you must pay for it.
FREE CREDIT REPORT
The only way to obtain a free credit report is through www.annualcreditreport.com.
A few years ago Experian, through a marketing campaign, came up with www.freecreditreport.com. Ironically, it was not free and Experian was sued for false advertising (Experian lost).
So, the bottom line is that to get a free, official, credit report is through www.annualcreditreport.com.
You may receive all three at one time. However, there must be three separate applications. Some suggest looking at one Bureau report every four months. The benefit to this is that you spread out your monitoring over the full year period. However, the downside is a creditor or a debt collector does not have to report to all three bureaus and if they report to the one Bureau that you are not checking, you will never know until you check months later.
Contrary to popular belief, www.creditKarma.com is not official. It has much missing information that could lead you down the wrong path. A case in point: www.creditKarma.com does not pull from Experian, the largest of the three credit bureaus.
Where can you get an official credit score? The credit scores that are offered through credit monitoring services may or may not be a FICO score. The FICO score is what determines over 90% of loan application approvals. If you want to determine if your credit worthy, why would you use anything but a FICO score?
Secondly, a credit monitoring service will only give you a generic FICO score. That is, it is a score this not weighted for what you may be purchasing or using it for. For example, when you are purchasing a home, there is a mortgage FICO score. If you are purchasing a vehicle, there is a vehicle FICO score. In other words, there are over 100 various FICO scores depending on what you are attempting to purchase or finance.
The only official FICO score can be obtained through www.myFICO.com. You should be able to adjust the score for what you are looking to purchase. It is not inexpensive as they charge a minimum of $45 for a three month minimum.
So there you have it.
If you want to get a conversation started, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, call me at 888.417.3400 or text me at 612.567.9627.