Understanding Credit Cards: The Credit Bureaus

Credit and credit cards are an integral part of our economic system today. But there is a lot of misinformation and misunderstandings about credit. In this continuing series, we examine key concepts, tips and best practices when it comes to credit cards.

(10/22/2012) To ensure your credit is accurate and healthy, you need to check your credit report and score regularly. But who are the agencies that issue these scores? Knowing as much as possible about how the three main credit bureaus work helps you stay informed and in control.

The main credit scores used by credit agencies, lenders, utilities companies, and even employers are FICO scores, created by the Fair Isaac Corporation. Three agencies, TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian, use a variation on the FICO formula and their own researched information to develop a credit score. In addition, these agencies offer credit education and other services.

Each agency gathers the same type of information about consumer credit and payment histories. But each organization has different methods, and different regions in which they have coverage and reputation. That means each agency may gather different information. Additionally, while each uses FICO as the basis for their credit scores, they also use a distinct and unique formula. Taken together, this means that your credit scores may vary by agency.

Because there is more than one credit score that could be used to help lenders and other parties make decisions about your finances and qualifications, it's important to take into account all three. Regular credit checks of history and scores will ensure you have a complete picture.

And part of regularly checking your credit history? Correcting any errors that could impact your financial health and ability to get loans. Each agency offers a way to report and resolve errors on your credit report:

• TransUnion: Call 1-800-916-8800 or visit their website. To report potential identity theft, call 1-800-680-7289 as soon as possible.

• Experian: Use online forms for disputes, identity theft reports, and other issues.

• Equifax: Use online forms to address errors or other concerns. To report potential identity theft, call 1-888-397-3742.



For Additional Reading:

Why Are My Scores Different? http://www.myfico.com/crediteducation/questions/different-score-for-bureau.aspx

The Differences Between 3 Credit Bureaus:
http://www.ehow.com/list_6899570_differences-between-three-credit-bureaus.html

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Other related articles:

Maintaining credit health much like maintaining physical health

Understanding Credit Cards: Who Uses Credit Scores?

Understanding Credit Cards: Top 5 Credit Score Myths

Understanding Credit Cards: Building Credit for Newbies

Understanding Credit Cards: The 5 Components of a Credit Score

The Paradox of Credit: The Secrets of Good Credit that Defy Logic

Understanding Credit Cards: Checking Your Credit

Understanding Credit Cards: What is Credit?

Understanding Mortgages: What is a Credit Score?

Cashing in on your credit score

Fully free credit scores long overdue

Feds freeing up credit scores

Site to See: Federal Reserve's 'Credit Reports and Credit Scores'

 

Fannie Mae & Jumbo Mortgage Rates

Just One Click! = Current Rate Chart

Pennsylvania Mortgage Rates Current Mortgage Rates - Hawaii Current Mortgage Rates - Alaska West Virginia Mortgage Rates Virginia Mortgage Rates District of Columbia Mortgage Rates Maryland Mortgage Rates Delaware Mortgage Rates New Jersey Mortgage Rates Connecticut Mortgage Rates Rhode Island Mortgage Rates Massachusetts Mortgage Rates New Hampshire Mortgage Rates Vermont Mortgage Rates New Hampshire Mortgage Rates Maine Current Mortgage Rates Vermont Mortgage Rates Current Mortgage Rates - New York Current Mortgage Rates - Michigan Current Interest Rates - Wisconsin Current Mortgage Rates - MINNESOTA Ohio Mortgage Rates Current Mortgage Rates - Kentucky Current Mortgage Rates - Indiana Illinois - Current Mortgage Rates Current Mortgage Rates - Iowa Missouri Mortgage Rates Current Mortgage Rates - North Carolina South Carolina Mortgage Rates Current Mortgage Rates - Florida Current Mortgage Rates - Georgia Current Mortgage Rates - Tennessee Current Mortgage Rates - Alabama Current Mortgage Rates - Mississippi Current Mortgage Rates - Louisiana Current Mortgage Rates - Arkansas Current Mortgage Rates - Oklahoma Current Mortgage Rates - TEXAS Current Mortgage Rates - New Mexico Current Mortgage Rates - Arizona Current Mortgage Rates - Kansas Current Mortgage Rates - Nebraska Current Mortgage Rates - Colorado Current Mortgage Rates - Wyoming South Dakota Mortgage Rates Current Mortgage Rates - North Dakota Current Rates - Montana Idaho Current Rates Washington Mortgage Rates Current Mortgage Rates - Oregon Current Mortgage Rates - Utah Current Mortgage Rates - Nevada Current Mortgage Rates - California

Start by selecting your state