Read our FAQ
To obtain your credit reports from the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and Trans Union:
1. There is only one authorized source for free annual credit report(s) under federal law as mandated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Request online, by phone, or by mail.
We recommend you print all three reports for later reference and review. Beware, these reports are very lengthly, often printing only a few accounts per page.
877.322.8228 Your reports will be mailed to you. Much more compact than the online reports and much more detail than obtaining your reports through most websites.
Annual Credit Report Request Service
PO Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Your reports will be mailed to you.
2. You may pay and receive your reports through several online sites such as:
Wells Fargo Enhanced – Monthly updated reports and scores for $15.99.
www.experian.com – Check for current offers.
www.equifax.com – Check for current offers.
www.transunion.com – Check for current offers.
Each lender has their own specific underwriting standards, so it is normal that you will receive different scores, credit terms or conditions from each lender and website.
WHAT IS YOUR GOAL?
Depending on what your goal is, you must be very careful how you use your credit. For example, if your goal is a mortgage loan or refinance in the near future, you might not want to apply for any new credit before then.
As your credit reports improve we will help you determine what steps will help you accomplish your goals.
REDUCING DEBT WILL IMPROVE YOUR CREDIT REPORTS
We will consult with you regarding options which include:
- Paying down debt
- Settling legitimate debt
- Bankruptcy…a step that is not good for your credit, but sometimes the only option (law requires specific consultation before you are allowed to proceed with bankruptcy)
WHAT FACTORS AFFECT YOUR CREDIT SCORE?
There are five factors which are used in determining your credit score; these are approximates:
- Previous credit performance; payment history; negative and positive factors 35%
- How much you owe 30%
- Amount of time credit has been in use 15%
- Pursuit of or obtaining new credit 10% For less negative impact, if you need a new loan or credit account, do your rate shopping within a short period of time
- Types of credit experience; mortgage, installment, revolving/credit card 10%
USE OF CREDIT CARDS TO BUILD YOUR CREDIT SCORE
In your credit reports credit card accounts are referred to as ‘revolving credit’. Because your credit score is calculated independent of your income, your use of revolving credit is very important. Keeping your balance 30% or less of your credit limit, and paying those accounts to zero as often as possible has a big impact in building your score. This projects the image that you have your finances under control.
Shared only with you and do not impact your score:
- Promotional inquiries list companies who have obtained your information for prescreening, for offer of credit or insurance. Only your name and address were given to the inquiring company.
- Periodic account review by an existing creditor
- Employment inquiries
- Personal request to view your report either online or by mail
- Insurance companies
Shared with others and impact your score:
Inquiries initiated by you, such as responding to an offer for credit, or applying for credit of any kind, will have a negative impact and are displayed in your report when others, beside you, view your report. This is the ‘pursuit of new credit’ of the five factors that affect your credit score.
Register at: https://www.donotcall.gov/ or call 888.382.1222
This will stop most promotional offers from credit card and insurance companies, however some companies send offers that are not based on prescreening, and your federal opt-out right will not stop those kinds of solicitations. Before you opt out, consider that these offers can provide the benefit of learning about what’s available, compare costs, terms and conditions.