The 3 Credit Reporting Companies: Equifax, Transunion, and Experian
There are three entities that your FICO scores are provided by: Experian, Transunion and Equifax. Each credit bureau reports your scores, which can sometimes vary based on the information they have. Do you wonder why your scores are so different? To ensure that the most accurate information is being given to the credit agencies, there are a few things you will want to double check when you receive a copy of your credit report. You are not alone! It is very common for consumers to have three different credit scores, however, understanding your report will help you piece together why each is so different.
Your Personal Information
The report will have important information that is specific to you. If you notice that there are other names, incorrect date of birth or incorrect address information, you may have a mixed file. If you are married, your credit report is still separate from your spouse so you each will want to check your report. Pay close attention to:
- Social Security Number
- Date of birth
- Phone number
Common names in large cities post a potential risk for mixed files. It is important to check your credit report often and look for mistakes. If you find errors, you will want to dispute this with the credit bureaus to change it. Just this small correction can make an impact on your scores. If one bureau has correct information, but the other two do not, you may notice one is higher than the other two.
This section of your credit report is used in order to verify your identity. If you are missing employer information, you can have it added although it is not likely for this to have much impact on your file.
One of the most important sections of the report is where your accounts are showing status. In this section of your credit report, you will want to look closely at the dates of when the accounts were added and reporting bureaus. You will see:
- Open accounts
- Closed accounts
- Payment history
- Dates the accounts were opened or closed (by creditor or consumer)
- Loan payment history/status
Each account you have can report to the bureaus at different times. This is another reason that you may notice a variation in the credit scores. To get the best possible scores and outcomes for major things like a home loan purchase, call your creditors and see what day they report to the bureaus. There are a many moving parts to the puzzle, but knowing when each reports will allow you to know when your scores will look the best they possibly can and then you can time it right for when a lender or bank pulls your credit.
Credit Inquiries are not what is typically impacting your credit if your scores are low. Often times, this is what clients think is causing a low FICO but in reality, negative marks in the public record section or accounts with high balances/late payments are where the score is taking a hit.
Credit Repair Attorneys Are Ready
If you need credit help, there are credit repair attorneys that can work for you to dispute items on the credit reports. Mistakes on a credit report can hinder you from buying a home, car or even qualifying for a job. Whether you think you have a mistake on your report or not, a second opinion is never bad. 79% of credit reports contain errors. Check your accounts regularly or invest in credit monitoring.