Because your FICO® score is based on information in your credit reports, it is important to make sure that the information in your credit report is accurate.
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, (FACT Act) requires each of the three credit reporting companies to provide you a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. A credit report contains information about you and your credit/payments history. This information is used to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, renting a home and for other purposes.
You can get your report at:
1 877 FACT ACT (1-877-322-8228)
If you report an error to a credit reporting agency, it must investigate and respond to you within 30 days. In addition, if you are in the process of applying for a loan, immediately notify your lender of any incorrect information in your report.
You can also dispute any errors by contacting the credit reporting agencies directly:
(800) 685-1111, www.equifax.com
Experian (Formerly TRW):
(888) 397-3742, www.experian.com
(800) 888-4213, www.transunion.com
For information on the prevention of Identity Theft please visit:
www.FTC.gov and click on consumer protection or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357)
Consumers can file identity theft reports by calling 1-877-ID THEFT (1-877-438-4338)
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. How long does a negative report stay on my credit?
Inquiries usually have a small impact. For most people, one additional credit inquiry will take less than five points off their FICO® score. However, inquiries can have a greater impact if you have few accounts or a short credit history. Large numbers of inquiries also mean greater risk: People with six inquiries or more on their credit reports can be up to eight times more likely to declare bankruptcy than people with no inquiries on their reports.
2. How much do inquiries affect my FICO® score?
Many kinds of inquiries are ignored completely. Your FICO® score does not count an inquiry when you order your credit report or credit score from a credit reporting agency or from another company that provides this information to consumers. Also, the FICO® score does not count inquiries a lender has made for your credit report or score in order to make you a “pre-approved” credit offer, or to review your account with them, even though you may see these inquiries on your credit report. Inquiries that are marked as coming from employers are not counted either.
3. Will closing old accounts raise my FICO® score?
NO. In fact, it might lower your FICO® score. First of all, any late payments associated with old accounts won’t disappear from your credit report if you close the account. Second, long established accounts show you have a longer history of managing credit, which is a good thing. And third, having available credit that you don’t use does not lower your FICO® score. You may have reasons other than your FICO® score to shut down old credit card accounts that you don’t use. But don’t do it just to get a better score
4. What’s a good FICO® score?
Since there’s no one “cutoff” used by all lenders, it’s hard to say what a good FICO® score is outside the context of a particular lending decision. For example, one auto lender may offer lower interest rates to people with FICO® scores above, say, 680; another lender may use 720, and so on. Your lender may be able to give you guidance on their criteria for a given credit product