750.670. 620. 575. You may not think about them every day, but the three digits that make up your credit score along with your credit report influence your life in many ways. They affect the cost of credit you receive, your ability to rent or buy a home, the insurance rates you pay, and even the jobs you can get. By understanding the reporting and scoring process, you're better equipped to build a stellar credit profile.
Credit reports are divided into four sections:
Personal identification – Most reports begin with your personal identification information. It lists your name and any former names or aliases, your current address and former addresses, and sometimes your employment history and marital status.
Trade lines – The bulk of a credit report is dedicated to your history of handling credit. It includes creditors and account numbers, the date accounts were opened, credit limits or original balances, whether accounts are individually or jointly held, balances and payment patterns for the last 24 to 36 months, and whether accounts are in collections or in dispute.
Public records – This section shows public records that are related to credit worthiness, such as liens, bankruptcies, repossessions, judgments, foreclosures, and court-ordered child support arrears.
Inquiries – This section lists anyone who has accessed your credit report. Inquiries can either be “hard” or “soft.” A hard inquiry is one that results from an application or transaction initiated by you, such as applying for a new credit card. A soft inquiry occurs when you pull your credit report or your credit report is checked for reasons not related to credit applications. The only person who can see the soft inquiries on your credit report is you.
As for your three-digit credit score, that's calculated by weighting various factors contained in your credit report including your payment history, your credit utilization, the length of your credit history, recent credit activity, and the types of credit you hold. Your credit score can also vary among credit reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax) because they weigh each factor differently.
As a Hanscom Federal Credit Union member, you can access your credit score and report at no cost. If you like, we can review these four sections with you to show you how to improve your score. You can request your report here.