Credit Report

What is my Credit Report?

Your credit report has four parts:

  1. Your identifying information.
  2. Your public record information (used to determine if you have any legal judgments against you).
  3. Other credit history information (a list of your credit cards, outstanding loans, payment histories, etc.).
  4. Inquiries (a list of creditors/parties who have previously requested your credit report).
How can I get a copy of my Credit Report?

There is no single credit report. It is advised that you obtain a credit report from all three of the major credit reporting bureaus: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (“FACT”) enables you to obtain a free copy of your credit report, once a year, from each of the three credit reporting bureaus.

Call 1-877-FACTACT for more information, or visit to learn more about ordering your annual credit report.

If you have any questions or concerns about a specific credit bureau, you may contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP, or visit their website.

How do I request a “fraud alert” be placed on my credit report file?

You have the right to ask that nationwide consumer credit reporting companies place “fraud alerts” in your file to let potential creditors and others know that you may be a victim of identity theft. A fraud alert can make it more difficult for someone to get credit in your name because it tells creditors to follow certain procedures to protect you. It also may delay your ability to obtain credit. You may place a fraud alert in your file by calling just one of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies. As soon as that agency processes your fraud alert, it will notify the other two, which then also must place fraud alerts in your file.

An initial fraud alert stays in your file for at least 90 days. An extended alert stays in your file for seven years. To place either of these alerts, a consumer credit reporting company will require you to provide appropriate proof of your identity, which may include your Social Security Number. If you ask for an extended alert, you will have to provide an identity theft report. An identity theft report includes a copy of a report you have filed with a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency. For more detailed information about the identity theft report, visit the FTC’s Identity Theft Site.

How often should I get my credit report?

It is suggested that you review your credit report once a year, or, prior to making a major purchase such as real estate, to ensure that there are no errors in your credit reporting which could slow down any credit approval process or deny you the best loan terms.

What should I be looking for when I review my credit report and how do I correct any erroneous information?

You should make sure that your credit bureau accurately reflects the payment history on your accounts. If your report incorrectly displays a late payment you will want to correct that immediately. You should also verify that all accounts listed on the report are yours, especially if you have a common name (such as John Smith).

What is a credit score and why is it important?

A credit score is a number calculated by a credit bureau or another company for use in making a decision on a loan application or other product or service. PFFCU uses a system developed by Fair Isaac and Company called the “FICO score.” Think of credit scoring as a point system based on your credit history, designed to help predict how likely you are to repay a loan or make payments on time. Different lenders may use different scoring systems, so your score may vary significantly from one source to another.

In general, the higher your credit score, the better your chances are of getting a loan and the better your interest rate.

More details on your credit score and how it is calculated can be found here.

What are the most important factors in determining my credit score?

Typically, your credit score is determined by five factors:

  • Your Payment History (35%) – Have you paid your credit accounts on time?
  • How Much You Owe (30%) – This is made up of how much you owe and how much of your available credit you are using.
  • Length of Credit History (15%) – Longer credit history will increase your score.
  • New Credit (10%) – If you recently applied for or opened new credit accounts, your credit score will weigh this fact against the rest of your credit history.
  • Other Factors (10%) – Minor factors such as having multiple credit types.

In addition, PFFCU wants to be sure that your monthly debt payments are manageable relative to your income. To the extent that your monthly debt exceeds 40% of your monthly income, PFFCU becomes concerned about your ability to repay.

More details on your credit score and how it is calculated can be found here.

The information contained herein is for informational purposes, only.


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