Credit Advice

Credit Score

What is a credit score?

A credit score is a 3-digit code that represents the credibility of the individual over their financial lifetime. Lenders, such as banks, check credit scores of each individual before lending money to check for credit risks. In doing this, it helps the lender determine whether the borrower will be able to pay back the loan taken for buying a house, auto loan, etc. Having higher credit scores help you qualify for a loan with good terms and lower interest rates.

Why are credit scores important?

Here are a few examples showing how credit scores are important;

  • They play an important role in a banker’s decision whether or not to lend money.
  • Banks may offer higher credit amount loans at a lower rate of interest if your credit scores are high.
  • Individuals with good credit scores are considered to be low-risk, so the chance of getting approved for credit cards and other loans is high.

What is the credit rating scale?

Credit scores are calculated with reference to the information obtained from your credit report and can range between 300-850. The most common scoring model used by most financial institutions can be seen below;

  • 800-850 Outstanding
  • 740-799 Very good
  • 670-739 Good
  • 580-669 Fair
  • 300-579 Not adequate

Are there industry specific credit scores?

The range for industry-specific scores is from 250-900, while the classic credit score range is from 300-850. In industry-specific scores, the lender will ask for a copy of your credit history and find out whether you have been able to pay off similar loans on a monthly basis. For example, if you are inquiring about an auto loan the lender will want to review your past auto credit history to see if you made payments on time.

Should I be worried if my scores are different?

No, it is common to have different scores from each bureau. Different scores may result from each bureau having its own scoring system. In addition, varying credit scores may be due to lenders not submitting all your reports to a specific bureau. It’s important to know lenders may use different bureaus to make their decision to approve your loan/application. Therefore, it is critical to know all three of your credit scores.

What personal details do not affect my credit score?

Credit scores are not affected or hindered by most personal details, such as these;

  • Checking or savings account balance.
  • Monthly or yearly salary.
  • Marital status.
  • Gender.
  • Education level.

Credit Reports

What is the purpose of a credit report?

A credit report contains your credit history activity and includes information about your current credit situation, such as the status of your credit accounts. Additionally, credit reports contain personal information, credit accounts, public records (bankruptcies & lawsuits), and all the companies who have viewed/accessed your credit report.

Is there a way for me to see my own credit report?

Every individual can get a free copy of their credit report every 12 months by visiting You can access your credit reports from all 3 credit reporting agencies. However, the report you receive for free does not include credit monitoring to watch for changes in your credit profile.

Is credit reporting and credit monitoring the same service?

It is not the same; credit reporting is a process of reporting your credit situation to the lender, which includes your credit history shown in a report. Credit monitoring, on the other hand, keeps a watch on activity in the credit reports and helps identify possible fraud or identity theft. All 3 bureaus are closely monitored by, so if there is any suspicious activity you’ll receive an alert.

How often do credit reports get updated?

The majority of the time credit reports are updated by the credit reporting bureau once every month, or at least in 45 days. The bureaus, unfortunately, do not have a fixed date where they have to submit the scores. With varying reporting dates, credit scores and reports can change constantly throughout each month.

Credit Monitoring

What is credit Monitoring and why is it important?

Credit monitoring is a 24/7 service that continuously monitors your credit accounts for any updates. As a member, you can rest assured that if any changes like new inquiries, missed payments, or any new accounts ever appear on your credit report you will be notified quickly.

Credit inquiry, what is it?

Credit inquiries are basically checks to see your credit scores and reports. Credit inquiries are required when you are applying for new credit. Each time you apply for new credit, (such as an auto loan, credit card, home loan, etc) the lender who has viewed your credit will show in your credit report as a new inquiry. Keep in mind that the companies can make inquiries only after having your permission.

How can I view my credit reports, scores & alerts?

You will be linked to our member dashboard automatically after successfully completing enrollment. Once in the dashboard, you will see your credit scores and reports on display. Use the tabs at the top and navigate between all your membership benefits inside the member portal.

It is suggested to review your credit alerts on a regular basis. To view any credit alerts, simply navigate to the member dashboard and click on "Credit Alerts". Then, click on the tab that is displaying the alert for more details.

What do I do if I receive a credit alert?

If you receive a credit alert;

  • Recall whether you’ve applied for credit recently.
  • If you have not applied, contact the lender or creditor of your financial institution.
  • Look at your credit reports to check in detail whether the specifics match your recent activity.