The Credit Info Library

What exactly is my credit score?

Your credit score summarizes all of your credit report information and breaks it down into a single number. Everyone these days understands that credit scores are very important numbers.

Your credit score allows lenders to make broad assumptions, including how likely you are to repay a loan and or make credit payments on time. The higher your credit score, the more likely you are to get the credit that you’re applying for. With better credit scores you may even get terms and rates (depending on the top of credit you are applying for).

And how do they settle on a credit score?

When your score is calculated, they use an equation that evaluates multiple data points – called “score factors” – from all three credit reporting agencies. To complete your credit score, they compare all of that information to other patterns that are most often found in thousands of past credit reports. That information is then used to identify your level of credit risk.

Every single aspect of a score factor can affect your credit score. Below, we’ve listed some of the most common score factors that can have a negative or positive impact on your score:

  • Your credit inquiries
  • Your credit delinquencies
  • When you open new lines of credit
  • When your average balance of revolving credit is considered too high
  • A notable shortage of mortgage accounts

But why do companies even use my credit score?

Companies can and will use your credit score in several ways. In fact, your credit score is a widely-used tool by finance companies, creditors, employers, and even insurance companies. These companies rely on your credit score for determining your creditworthiness or level of risk.

Most companies these days consider credit scores to be a credit “snapshot” of your credit worthiness. That’s why companies use your credit score to help them make quick credit decisions about you. Of course, creditors may also access your full credit report. They will do this when they want to review and identify a greater set of information about you that will help them determine your level of credit risk.

The three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) can also offer industry-specific credit scores. These special reports help lenders in topic-specific industries get a better understanding of any industry-specific information that may be available when reviewing your credit. As an example, car industry lenders might use a credit score model to more accurately review and evaluate the history of your car or truck loan payments.

An industry-specific score is based on the available data in the records of an agency, so it is very possible that it will differ from one agency to the next. Therefore, you should always remember that credit score ratings can be different, depending on the score model that is being requested (renters, auto, mortgage, etc.).

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

Of course! Everyone should get into the habit of checking their own credit report. One quick and fairly easy way to check your credit report (which you are entitled to by federal law) is for you to visit When you visit that site, you can log in and view your credit report from all three credit reporting agencies. You are allowed to do this for free once every 12 months.

But remember, this is not the same as credit monitoring. To have your credit monitored across all 3 credit reporting agencies, you can choose to sign up for credit monitoring services allow you to view your own personal report whenever you choose. also monitors all 3 bureaus, so if any suspicious or irregular activity arises, you’ll be contacted immediately.

And how often are credit reports updated?

Most creditors send updates to credit reporting agencies every 30 days. But what varies is the day of the month that creditors submit their information. Because there is no standard day of the month, agencies may receive updates from one creditor on the fourth and from a different creditor the fourteenth. That’s why it’s a good idea for you to access to your credit report for everyday use.

How would you define credit monitoring?

Credit monitoring is a simple concept to understand: It’s a service that continuously monitors your credit for any changes and updates. Changes and/or updates that can appear on your report include new inquiries, missed payments, or any new accounts. As a member, you’ll be contacted if any of these items ever appear on your credit. That’s why credit monitoring is an effective way for people to combat identity theft. When you have credit monitoring, you get updated whenever someone tries to open an account in your name. Without credit monitoring, you may run the risk of someone stealing your identity and creating debt in your name.

What’s a credit inquiry?

A credit inquiry occurs when a financial company submits a request to get some additional information that will help them understand your creditworthiness. These companies generally use elements found in your credit report to help them decide how much credit they want to issue to you. Typically, the most common inquiries occur when people apply for home loans, auto loans, or new apartments. A good thing about these inquiries is that companies cannot make them unless they have your permission.

What sorts of benefits come with my membership?

Along with your membership comes unlimited access to all your credit reports and scores. You will also receive a credit report consultation, 24-hour credit monitoring, and credit alerts. You’ll even get unlimited access to our credit education library, plus many other exclusive benefits.

How do I view my credit reports & scores?

Your credit reports and scores will become available as soon as you enroll. Once you sign up, you’ll be automatically linked to our member dashboard. On this dashboard, you’ll be able to easily navigate between our multiple benefits by using the tabs at the top of the page.

Where can I view my credit alerts?

Once you’re logged on to the member dashboard, click the “3-Credit Alerts” tab at the top of the page. Then, click on that tab that is displaying the alert. It’s very important that you review these alerts regularly.

If I receive a credit alert, what do I do?

When you receive a credit alert, the next steps you take will depend on the information in the alert. As an example, if you receive an alert that there is a new inquiry on your report, you should consider a few factors before you take action. For instance, if you’ve recently applied for credit, then the alert may be explained by that application. But if the inquiry you were alerted to was not due to any actions that you had taken, you’ll want to call the company listed on that credit inquiry. Staying up-to-date with your alerts and taking the steps to address them right away is very important.