ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Personal Finance»
  • Managing Credit Cards & Payment Options

What’s My Credit Score? How to Get a Free Credit Report

Updated on September 4, 2012

What's My Credit Score?

Many people want to know “what’s my credit score?  You can find out your credit score through your credit report that is done by one of three consumer credit reporting agencies. What is my credit score is a common question.  Your credit score reflects your creditworthiness based on your payment history.  It tells anyone who may look to loan you money, rent you a house, employ or insure you, how reliably you pay your bills and make good on their debts. Your credit score is not influenced by any personal physical characteristic such as gender, race, ethnicity.  It is only influenced by your financial history.

You credit score is affected by many factors.  It is important to understand what is in your credit report.  If there is a mistake your loan rate could be lowered, or even possibly cause you to be denied. Check your report reguarly and carefully.  If there is something on the report that doesn’t look right to you, you have the right todispute it. You can ask for proof that the debt really belongs to you.  If the credit agency can’t prove it, they have to delete it from your credit report. If they are ignoring you, you can contact a lawyer who has an expertise in credit card laws.

Your credit report score is affected by a few factors. Some matter more than others. When you apply for credit, open a bank account, apply for a car loan. These are known as hard inquiries.  A hard inquiry stays on your report for 2 years, and lowers your credit score for the first year it is on your report. Whenever there is an inquiry to your credit report, it is known as a soft inquiry.  Chapter 7 bankruptcy stays on your credit report for ten years. Chapter 13 bankruptcy stays on your credit report for 7 years. Bankruptcy can reduce your credit score by as much as 110 points.

Find Out Your Credit Score

Your credit report scores look at the balances on your credit card and how much available credit you have. The higher the ratio of your credit used, the lower your credit score will be. Unpaid balances, even if minimum payments are made promptly, adversely affect your credit score. The ideal percentage of your available credit is 10%, according to the experts.

The U.S. government has a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) that makes it obligatory for the credit reporting companies to give you a free copy of your credit report when you ask for it. You can request it once a year from Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. A credit report is filled with information about your bill paying patterns, where you live, whether you have been arrested or sued, or have filed bankruptcy. The information that is in this report is sold to creditors, employers, insurers, and when you rent a home.

You should not contact the three agencies separately. You will only get the 3 free credit reports through the the following: To order your free report you can call, or send a request through mail, to request it from each of the three reporting agencies. Call 1(877)322-8228 Visit annualcreditreport.com and fill out the Annual Credit Report Request Form. mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. You can also go to ftc.gov/credit. You can order the reports from one consumer reporting agency, or you can order all three at once. Be aware and cautious of fraudulent websites, they can be scams. The above website is the only website that is authorized to get you your free credit report. Other sites may say free but there are probably hidden costs, or fees that you may not be aware of. The annualcreditreport.com is commissioned by the government and is totally free. Some sites might have a website that looks close to this website, or intentional mispellings to get you to sign up unintentionally with them. The annualcreditreport.com will never email you anything or ask for your personal information. After you complete the report you will mail it to the address in Atlanta, GA. If a company says you can email them the information, it is not the official annualcreditreport.com authorized by the U.S. government. You can forward these imitation sites to the FTC email address spam@uce.gov

Get 3 Free Credit Reports

Many people want to know “what’s my credit score?  You can find out your credit score through your credit report that is done by one of three consumer credit reporting agencies. What is my credit score is a common question.  Your credit score reflects your creditworthiness based on your payment history.  It tells anyone who may look to loan you money, rent you a house, employ or insure you, how reliably you pay your bills and make good on their debts. Your credit score is not influenced by any personal physical characteristic such as gender, race, ethnicity.  It is only influenced by your financial history.

You credit score is affected by many factors.  It is important to understand what is in your credit report.  If there is a mistake your loan rate could be lowered, or even possibly cause you to be denied. Check your report reguarly and carefully.  If there is something on the report that doesn’t look right to you, you have the right todispute it. You can ask for proof that the debt really belongs to you.  If the credit agency can’t prove it, they have to delete it from your credit report. If they are ignoring you, you can contact a lawyer who has an expertise in credit card laws.

Your credit report score is affected by a few factors. Some matter more than others. When you apply for credit, open a bank account, apply for a car loan. These are known as hard inquiries.  A hard inquiry stays on your report for 2 years, and lowers your credit score for the first year it is on your report. Whenever there is an inquiry to your credit report, it is known as a soft inquiry.  Chapter 7 bankruptcy stays on your credit report for ten years. Chapter 13 bankruptcy stays on your credit report for 7 years. Bankruptcy can reduce your credit score by as much as 110 points.

Only Use annualcreditreport.com

You Free Credit Report is only through the U.S. Government

Getting Your Free Credit Reports

To get your free credit report you fill out the form and have your social security number available. This is why it is important to know that you are dealing with the real government authorized site because it is very important to protect your social security number. When you contact the authorized agency they will ask you some private information to verify the security that they are speaking to the person who is on the credit report.

  • The credit report gives lenders information that will determine if you will get a loan and what your interest rate may be. It is good to have a copy of your own credit report to insure the accuracy of the information. Reviewing your credit report will also protect you from identity theft. If your identity is compromised, someone can use your credit information to get new credit cards in your name. They will charge your credit cards and not pay the bills, and this will negatively affect your ability to get loans, get insurance or even get a job. You can usually request your report the day you go on the website. If you call 1-877-322-8228, or order it by mail, it may take about 15 business days for you to receive your report, provided they have all the information they need. You can also get a free credit report if you are denied a job, credit, or insurance. Ask for the report within sixty days of receiving the denial. If you are unemployed and are intending to look for a job within 60 days, if your report is incorrect due to fraud or identity theft, you can request a free credit report. You can also pay $10.50 for each credit report if you want another report in less than a year. To purchase a copy of your own credit report contact each of the credit reporting agencies
  • Equifax:1-800-685-1111; equifax.com
  • Experian: 1-888-397-3742; experian.com
  • TransUnion: 1-800-916-8800; transunion.com


If you live in Colorado, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Vermont already have free access to their credit reports, according to their state laws, you have free access to your credit reports. The three agencies get the information they use from a variety of places and so the information may be different from each reporting agency. To find out what your credit score really is, know that your credit rating may be different from each agency. Financial experts say it might be a good idea to space out when you order the credit reports so you can keep see what is going on with your credit rating at different points during the year.






Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 7 years ago from San Francisco

      Thanks for the Hub! You've reminded me that I really need to check out my credit report. Hurray!

    • HerbalMarvel profile image

      HerbalMarvel 7 years ago from London

      So often you simply see spam, recycled info on this. But this is a quality hub imo - great work!

    • onceuponatime66 profile image

      Jackie Paulson 7 years ago from USA IL

      Thanks for this information.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)