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Credit Knowledge Resource

Your Credit Score – what exactly is it?

Your current credit score is the summary of all your entire credit report information, expressed as a single number. This important single number is calculated by an equation that evaluates the many data points --- what is called score factors -- from a credit report at all the credit-reporting agencies. They compare this information with all the patterns found in thousands of the other past credit reports and use it to determine a credit score and identify a specific level of credit risk. This score allow all the lenders know how likely it is for a person to ever repay a loan, or to make timely credit payments. The higher a score is, the more likely that a person is going to get the credit that they apply for.

How is this credit score determined?

As you know, your credit score is important. It is a summary of your credit report information expressed as a single number. This important single number is calculated by an equation that evaluates the many data points --- what is called score factors -- from a credit report at all the credit-reporting agencies. There are score factors that have positive and negative effects on your score. Some of the factors that are used for this purpose are listed below by how much they affect your score negatively, which means that factors on the list first are what lower your score the most. A few examples of these factors can include:

  • Credit inquiries (this is how often you submit an application for credit)
  • Serious credit delinquencies (this is how timely account payments are)
  • Recently opened new lines of credit (too much activity is not good)
  • The average balance of you revolving credit accounts is too high
  • Not enough mortgage accounts

How do US companies use credit scores?

Your credit score gets used in a lot of ways. Please remember that credit scores can be one of the most-used tools by creditors, employers, insurance and finance companies. These kinds of companies all rely on credit scores when they determine creditworthiness. A personal credit score is considered a credit snapshot that is used when companies make quick credit decisions. Of course, creditors may also choose to get your full credit report as well, in order to assess a more complete and detailed set of information that helps them decide on your level of risk.

Each of the credit reporting agencies in the US – weather is it Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion – will also offer industry-specific scores when checking a person’s credit. Such industry-specific credit reports will allow lenders in these specific industries to get themselves a better assessment of the certain factors that are often in a person’s credit file. For example, a lender that is working in the automotive industry might request a score model that will more closely evaluate an individual’s auto loan payment history. This score would be based on the data available with that agency, and might be different from one agency to another agency. Please remember that your credit score rating can also be different, depending on the score model that has been requested, such as auto, mortgage, etc.

Can I get my own credit report?

Yes! To get your free credit report (that you are entitled to by federal law) just visit www.annualcreditreport.com. At that web address, you can request your credit report from all 3 credit reporting agencies. And you can do this one time every 12 months. But if you would instead prefer monitoring daily of your credit report from all three of the credit reporting agencies, you can use ScrSwt.com. This service will let you to get your personal report online 24 hours each day. If ScrSwt.com detects suspicious or irregular account activity, we'll contact you right away.

I know my credit report gets updated, but how often?

It is usual for creditors to forward information to the credit reporting agencies every month. Of course, that day of the month the creditors forward the information can vary. So the agencies might receive updates from one creditor on the third of every month and from a different creditor on the twentieth of every month. That’s why it is always important to have access to your own credit report each and every day.

But what is credit monitoring?

It easy to understand - credit monitoring is a service that continuously monitors your credit report for changes and updates. Change and updates to your report may include brand new inquiries, or missed payments, or new accounts. If you are a ScrSwt.com member, we will contact you if any new alerts appear on your credit file. Credit monitoring is also be an important tool for fighting identity theft, since one is updated immediately when someone attempts to open an account in your name. Without credit monitoring a person could be at risk that someone will steal their identity or create debt in their name.

What is a credit inquiry?

A credit inquiry is when a primarily financial company requests information that will help them better understand a person’s credit worthiness. These types of primarily financial companies use the elements of your credit report to help them decide how much credit they should issue to you. One of the most common types of inquiry is when you are applying for an auto loan, a home loan, and auto loan, or even when you want to rent an apartment. Remember, inquiries are only made with your permission.

What kind of benefits do I receive with a ScrSwt.com membership?

When you become a ScrSwt.com member, you will receive unlimited access to your credit reports and scores. You will also get credit report consultations, 24 hour credit monitoring, as well as credit alerts, and even access to our expert credit education center. Also, you get benefits only available to our members including full access to all three of your credit reports and scores.

How do I view my credit report & score?

Once you have completed the enrollment process, you will be automatically directed to our member dashboard. From the member dashboard, you can easily navigate between the different benefits by using the tabs near the top of the page.

How do I view my credit reports and scores?

After you have completed the enrollment process, you are automatically directed to our member dashboard. From this member dashboard, you can easily navigate between all the many benefits just by using the tabs that are all listed near the top of the page.

How can I view my credit alerts?

It is easy. When you log into our member dashboard, you can take a look at the top of the page where you will see a 3-credit alerts tab. When you click on that tab you will see that it will display the alert that you have received, and a notice that you should review the information.

It looks as if I received a credit alert –what do I do now?

What you need to do depends on the topic and specifics of the alert. For example, if you receive an alert that there is a new inquiry on your report, you will need to review a few data points before taking action. Doe instance, if you have recently applied for credit, then the notice could possibly be explained by this action. But if the inquiry was cause by you, then you should call the company that is listed on the inquiry. These steps would be the same for any new accounts that you notice that are opened in your name.

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Important Information: The credit score(s) you receive from us may not be the same scores used by lenders or other commercial users for credit decisions. There are various types of credit scores, and lenders may use a different type of credit score to make lending decisions than the ones being offered.

Under federal law you have the right to receive a Credit Report from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies once every 12 months. A Credit Score is not included.

After verification of your identity, your scores are available for immediate online delivery securely. Scores shown are for illustrative purposes only.

ScrSwt.com provides you with the tools you need to access and monitor your financial profile through the program's credit reporting and monthly monitoring benefits. ScrSwt.com Credit Monitoring and its benefit providers are not credit repair service providers and do not receive fees for such services, nor are they credit clinics, credit repair or credit services organizations or businesses. Credit information is provided either by Transunion® and TransUnion Interactive, Inc. or Experian and CSIdentity Corporation.

All product and company names and trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.