Your credit rating can have a decisive impact on your life and financial stability. Here are a few key tips on how to access your credit report, challenge mistakes in a credit report and appeal a credit bureau decision. Also, we’ve added ten suggestions that just might help you improve your current credit score.

How can I find out what my credit rating is?

You are entitled to request and obtain a free copy of your credit report once every year directly from any or all of the three consumer reporting agencies, also known as credit bureaus − Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Should you notice an error on your credit report, you are entitled to dispute it. You may consult the credit bureaus’ websites for more details.

Keep in mind that if you request a credit report more than once in a given year from the same credit bureau, you can be charged for it.

However, the independent site www.creditkarma.com can provide you with free access to your credit rating and credit score, and may also provide you with credit score monitoring services.

Government regulation

Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are all publicly traded corporations. Equifax and TransUnion are listed on the New York Stock Exchange while Experian is listed on the London Stock Exchange. Therefore, they are subject to strict governmental oversight.

Consumer reporting agencies have been regulated by the federal government since 1970 under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This law requires them to ensure that the information they gather and supply to banks and other financial institutions for their use is a fair and accurate summary of a consumer's credit history.

In addition, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created in 2010 to supervise consumer reporting agencies, alongside other financial institutions. The CFPB enacts and enforces regulations for banks and other financial institutions, monitors and reports on markets and collects and responds to complaints from consumers.

The CFPB also maintains a full list of consumer reporting companies with contact information. That list includes niche credit bureaus that focus only, for example, on student loans, tenant screening, check and bank screening, personal property insurance, medical plans, and low-income and sub-prime loans.

Apply Now 

Applying does NOT affect your FICO® Score!

Ten steps to help improve your credit rating

At CreditCube, we listen to our customers. Many of them have shared with us the lessons they have drawn from their credit history. Below is a list of ten suggestions that we frequently hear from others who have had poor credit ratings in the past but have now turned things around and are successfully rehabilitating their economic wellbeing and financial security:

  • Check your credit report at least once a year. Make sure that all the information on the credit report is accurate and dispute it if it needs to be corrected.
  • Pay all your bills on time in order to avoid late payments being reported to the credit bureaus.
  • Cancel any direct debits at your bank for goods or services that you no longer receive in order to prevent any future charges that might otherwise go unpaid.
  • If you move, have your name removed from all utility, landline telephone, internet, and cable TV bills once you vacate the premises. Make sure the final bills sent to your old address will all be fully paid on time as well.
  • If you do have a credit card, use it a few times each month without borrowing on it. This is an easy way to build up a good credit history.
  • Keep away from payday loans. Sometimes defaulting on one can result in having your debt sold off to a collection agency that may report your delinquent account.
  • It’s better not to have an overdraft, but if you do, don’t let it mushroom.
  • Notify credit bureaus immediately if you divorce or terminate a business partnership. If not, you legally may be held jointly responsible for any subsequent debt.
  • Register to vote at the same address that appears on your driver’s license, since that provides conclusive verification of your residency.
  • Try to pay back the principal on any loan before it is due. Credit bureaus will note this and it can contribute to a higher credit score.
 
Apply Now 

Applying does NOT affect your FICO® Score!