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What is My Credit Score: FICO® Score Estimator

“Wondering what your credit score is? Let the FICO Score Estimator help. Check it out below now!”

The Question

How FICO Scores Work
When you apply for credit – whether for a credit card, a car loan, or a mortgage – lenders want to know what risk they’d take by loaning money to you.

FICO scores are the credit scores most lenders use to determine your credit risk. You have three FICO scores, one for each of the three credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Each score is based on information the credit bureau keeps on file about you. As this information changes, your credit scores tend to change as well.

Your 3 FICO scores affect both how much and what loan terms (interest rate, etc.) lenders will offer you at any given time.

Taking steps to get your FICO scores in the higher ranges can help you qualify for better rates from lenders.

Higher FICO Scores = Lower Payments
The higher your FICO® scores, the less you pay to buy on credit – no matter whether you’re getting a home loan, cell phone, a car loan, or signing up for credit cards.

You can roughly estimate your actual credit score with this free score estimator from FICO®, the most trusted name in credit scoring. Here’s how it works: Answer these ten easy questions and we’ll give you a free estimated range for your three FICO® scores.

What do you mean I might not have a score?
You won’t have a credit score unless you’re older than 18 and you’ve had a credit card in your own name for longer than six months. So, if you’re young or you pay with cash, you likely don’t have a score. Or, if you’re young and have only had a single credit card for a short period of time, you may not have a score yet either. So go ahead and answer the questions and get an idea. It’s free, it’s easy, and you don’t have to give up any personal information.

1. How many credit cards do you have?
I have never had a credit card
1
2 to 4
5 or more

2. How long ago did you get your first loan?
(i.e., auto loan, mortgage, student loan, etc.)
I have never had a loan
less than 6 months ago
between 6 months and 2 years ago
2 to 5 years ago
5 to 10 years ago
10 to 15 years ago
15 to 20 years ago
more than 20 years ago
More at FICO® Score Estimator

Still asking “What is my Credit Score?”, then watch this video:

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Credit Report Dispute: Ways to Dispute Credit Report Errors

“Want to do a credit report dispute but not sure how? Let this article help. Check it out now!”

Ways to Do a Credit Report Dispute

In the early 70’s the Fair Credit Reporting Act (hereafter “FCRA”) was enacted as a way to set guidelines regarding credit reporting industry practices, procedures and consumer protections.

That Act has evolved over time, and thanks to multiple amendments the current version gives consumers a variety of options when it comes to challenging information on their credit reports.

Those options are:

1. The Most Common Method – Direct to Credit Bureau
By far the most common way consumers challenge information on their credit report is by filing a dispute directly with one or more of the national credit reporting agencies; Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

You can file a direct-to-bureau dispute via the credit bureaus’ websites, a letter or over the telephone.

When the credit bureaus receive your communication they are obligated by the FCRA to show the offensive item as being “in dispute.” They are also obligated to contact the furnishing party, normally a bank or collection agency, and verify the accuracy of the information in dispute.

This process cannot take longer than 30 to 45 days and if the mistake is on all three of your credit reports then you have to repeat this process–times three.

The form sent by the credit bureaus to banks and collection agencies is called an “ACDV”, or automated consumer dispute verification form. This form is normally sent electronically via a system called e-OSCAR.

2. The Not So Common Method – Direct to Furnisher
It’s not a huge secret but consumers are also allowed to file disputes directly with the party that furnished the allegedly incorrect information to the credit bureaus.

So, instead of trying to reach someone with the credit reporting agencies all you have to do is call your bank or the collection agency and let them know you are disputing the credit reporting of some item and you want it corrected.

When you file your dispute direct-to-furnisher, they are also obligated to communicate to the credit bureaus, all of them, that you are challenging the item and the alleged mistake is properly noted as being “in dispute.”

The furnisher also has the same obligation to perform an investigation. If they determine that the item is in fact incorrect, a correction must be sent to all three of the credit reporting agencies.

This process is called “carbon copy.”

The form sent by the banks and collection agencies to correct their credit reporting is called a “UDF”, or universal data form. This form is also normally sent electronically via the e-OSCAR system. More at 3 Ways to Dispute Credit Report Errors

You can also check out this video for more Credit Report Dispute tips:

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Credit Services: Experian

“There are lots of credit services out there. In this article, Experian explains what sets them out from the rest. Read it now!”

Top Credit Services

Credit Services provides information to organisations to help them manage the risks associated with extending credit to their customers and preventing fraud.

Experian has developed core expertise in building and managing very large and comprehensive databases containing the credit applications and repayment histories of consumers and businesses.

Consumer information
Experian operates 19 consumer credit bureaux, maintaining information on close to 800 million consumers. Our goal as a consumer credit reporting agency is to help lenders make better informed and faster credit decisions through access to detailed historical information about how consumers have fulfilled their credit obligations.

Experian’s clients are drawn from a wide range of industry sectors, where organisations routinely extending or offering credit to their customers, such as financial services, telecommunications, utilities, retail and insurance.

Our credit reports vary by country, but typically include identity data, transactional data, past and present credit obligations, court judgments, bankruptcy information, suspected fraudulent applications, collections data and previous addresses.

In the more developed credit markets, such as the US and UK, a credit report includes both positive and negative information. Positive data includes accounts that have been paid on time, forming a complete view of a consumer’s financial behaviours, while negative data includes past-due payments, collections accounts and public record information such as bankruptcies. In emerging credit markets, consumer credit reports often contain only negative data.

Experian does not make lending decisions or offer any comment or advice on particular applications, but simply provides factual information. This information is used by lenders throughout the customer life cycle:

Prospecting and origination
At the prospecting stage, where regulations permit, credit reports are used to identify consumers for pre-approved offers of credit.

At the application stage, credit reference checks are undertaken to verify the applicant’s identity, to assess credit risk and the potential for fraud, and to set the terms and conditions of the credit offer.

Account management and collections
Changes in a consumer credit report often indicate change in the risk or opportunity presented by existing customers, helping lenders to drive account management and retention programmes.

Experian’s credit reports also help improve the return on collections processes by optimising collection efforts, locating debtors and confirming and updating contact details. More at Credit Services

You can also check out this video for more on Credit Services:

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