Do You Know ALL of Your Credit Scores?

Experian, Equifax and Transunion

Author: Walter Burch

Your credit score is one of the most valuable financial assets you can own. In fact, your credit score can cost you, or save you, a lot of money when it comes to a buying a home, a car, credit card rates, insurance rates, and so much more. Your personal credit could also determine whether you are hired for a job.

The bottom line: It is vital for consumers to monitor and protect their credit scores on a regular basis.

The average consumer credit score in the U.S. is approximately 670. Higher than 670 and you have a good opportunity to secure money-saving interest rates and the best offers. Lower than 670 and chances are you will pay a high price for credit. Over time, this can cost you thousands of dollars. That's why it is important to check your credit scores and be proactive on a regular basis to maintain and improve credit.

Do you know your credit scores?

View Your Current Scores From All Three Credit Bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion

The Only One Who Knows If Your Credit is Accurate Is You

Many consumers are under the impression that the information in their credit report is verified BEFORE it is added to their credit file. This is not true. Here's how credit reporting works: Companies establish accounts with one or more of the three credit bureaus. This allows them to "report" to the credit bureaus both positive and negative info on consumers. It also allows them to "access" credit data, reports, and scores on consumers in order to make informed decisions on whether or not to extend credit to consumers.

When companies report information to the credit bureaus, there is no one at the credit bureau who has the responsibility to "verify" the accuracy of this information. The information is simply filed as true and accurate until a consumer comes along who checks a credit report and score and discovers an error in any one of several areas - including personal information, payment status and history, credit history, mix of credit (installment credit, revolving credit, mortgage, etc.)

Protecting Your Credit Score is Your Responsibility

Once you check your credit score and report and determine that there is information in your report that is not accurate, you have, under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) the right to file a dispute with the credit bureau who you believe has the incorrect info in their files. The credit bureau in question, by law, must either validate the accuracy of the item in dispute within 30 days, or the negative item must be removed from your files.

Smart consumers these days are becoming experts on their own credit, and protectors of their credit. If you don't take this responsibility, don't count on getting the credit you deserve.

One more very important item. It is important to make sure your credit is accurate on all three credit bureaus! Why? Because when you apply for credit, you never know which credit bureau that will be used in your application process. That's why you need to make sure ALL THREE CREDIT REPORTS AND SCORES are accurate.

Be credit smart. Know your credit scores and reports on all three credit bureaus:

Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion

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In Brief

  • Your three credit scores change frequently
  • You can dispute credit innaccuracies online
  • Instantly access all three credit scores
  • Checking your own credit score will not lower it
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