Ever wondered how to get a free credit report? It’s pretty easy actually. You can access your credit reports once a year from each of the 3 major credit bureaus. But before we start looking for it, here’s some information on the different types of credit reports and why it is so important to know your credit rating. What credit reporting agency does Capital One use?
What is a credit report?
Your credit reports summarize your credit history, including all your past credit cards and loans to those you have today.
Credit reports may contain personal data such as employment history and previous addresses. It may also include credit inquiries, account opening dates and any pledges or salary supplements. Credit reports usually keep negative information for 7 years and bankruptcy applications for 10 years.
Credit Reporting Agencies
When it comes to getting free credit reports, there are 3 main credit bureaus to choose from:
Some factors affecting typical creditworthiness
What information goes to assess creditworthiness? Some factors that affect your creditworthiness are:
- The percentage of available credit you are currently using. This is sometimes called credit usage. Keeping your loan usage below about 30% can be a sign of responsible credit management rather than excessive spending.
- Your bill payment history. A history of late or missed payments may result in a lower credit score.
- How many outstanding debts. This includes credit card debt, student loan debt, car loans and more.
- Your number of applications for a new loan. When you apply for a new credit line, it can cause a difficult query that can affect your creditworthiness. Too many difficult queries for your credit report – especially in a short period of time – can significantly lower your score.
- Any cases of foreclosure, bankruptcy or debt that have been submitted for recovery. To what extent will each of these factors affect your creditworthiness? Short answer: It depends on how long ago it happened, how each credit rating agency takes this information into account when calculating its score and more. Remember, however, that almost nothing affects your creditworthiness forever.
Why credit reports differ
Not all information is reported to every office. Your reports may show different creditworthiness assessments and this is perfectly normal. Each of the three major credit bureaus has its own way of deciding what financial behaviors they want to highlight, and each bureau is treated as a different company. They all have their own data and evaluation products. It is important to keep up to date with reports and make sure that the information is accurate.