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Credit Report Basics

Free Credit Report Analysis & Free Credit Score
To improve your financial health, you must first understand your credit report and Free Credit Score. Credit Sesame provides you with a monthly free credit score and a free credit report summary. In 2003, a federal bill called the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (or the FACT Act) gave consumers the right to request their credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting agencies. Consumers can visit and view free credit reports from TransUnion, Experian and Equifax.
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Monitor Your Credit Report
You should review your credit report on a regular basis to check for inaccuracies and to have a strong understanding of your overall financial health. Pulling your credit report lets you see what lenders see before they approve you for a line of credit. With Credit Sesame credit monitoring is easy, so you can easily stay up to date.
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Government-Provided Free Credit Reports
Credit reports are free, but you can only pull them once a year, and they can be difficult to understand. Plus, the services do not offer free credit scores and often try to upsell consumers to purchase expensive credit monitoring packages.
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My Credit Report Card
Not only does Credit Sesame provide you an absolutely free credit score, we also provide a free credit report card, which is a summary of your credit report. Even better, we'll help you find the best financial products and take charge of your financial future with our free tools. To get started down the right financial path, get a free credit score and a free credit report card.
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What's in a Credit score?

Excellent and Good Credit Scores
Once your score goes past the 760 mark, you're a member of the elite credit class. You'll be approved for the very lowest interest rates. Maintaining an excellent score requires paying on time each month and keeping your credit utilization to 10 percent or less. A good credit score is anything between 640 and 760. This kind of credit rating is usually assigned to someone whose credit report is free of late payments, has accounts that have been open for five years or longer and isn't carrying a lot of debt.
Fair Credit Scores
Fair credit is a score that ranges from 550 to 639. You can get approved for credit cards, car loans and even a mortgage with a fair credit score but the rates won't be the best. You can work on taking your credit from fair to good by paying your bills on time each month and keeping debt to a minimum.
Poor Credit Scores
Anything that falls below the 550 mark is considered a poor credit score. Someone whose score falls into this range is more likely to have a credit history that includes late payments, major delinquencies, charge-offs or bankruptcy. They'll also have the most difficulty getting approved for new loans and pay the highest interest rates.

Learning and Advice

Credit Report Facts

Does paying a past-due debt remove it from your credit report?
When you pay a bill late, it will usually stay on your credit report for 7 years, if it a more serious action, such as a brankruptcy then it will remain for 10 years. While it will hurt your credit rating, the damage done to your score will decrease over time as you continue paying your bills on time.
Does consistently using credit improve your credit report?
Attaining a high credit score involves using your credit often but responsibly. It means paying your bills, loans, and other credit that you have on time. If you do not use credit you will likely have a poor credit score or possibly no credit history at all. It is crucial that you use credit when possible to build credit score in order to be able to get larger loans at a lower interest.
Does Everyone Have a Credit History?
If you are trying to apply for a free online credit report but find yourself getting a message that says that there is no data available or that you do not have credit history, it typically means that you have never applied or used credit before. If this is the case you will not be building your credit history until you actually apply for credit.
Are Credit Reports Always Free?
You can get a yearly free credit report from each of the credit bureaus to check your credit standing and history, after that it will cost you to get another credit report generated. Also, the credits core is not part of the report and has to be gathered from a different source such as Credit Sesame.
Are all credit scores and reports the same?
You have three primary credit reports, one from Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. The information on all of these credit reports are not all the same and will vary as each provider has a different range of credit scores that it displays as a minimum and maximum. They are equal when it comes to importance, they all do the same function of documenting your credit history and to analyze your credit risk.
Are credit bureaus always right when reporting credit?
According to research studies nearly 80% of credit reports may contain a serious issue or mistake that may impact your credit score and report. It is important to check it often and point out anything that is not accurate. With the free credit report and score that Credit Sesame offers it is easy to check and confirm the accuracy of your most up to date report.

Customer Reviews

"Credit Sesame is an excellent choice for all of your Credit needs, with 24 hour monitoring and daily updates. They keep your individual credit scores updated and report to you all changes that are effecting your scores and offer you options to get you back on track."
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Recently Asked Questions

Who will see my credit report?
Your credit history report will be viewed by various entities to verify that you are financially stable and responsible. Lenders will check credit reports when reviewing loan applicants in deciding how likely one is to make payments in full and on time. Similarly, landlords, potential employers, mobile service providers and utility companies will check credit reports to determine financial reliability. But while a good score may not necessarily help you, a bad score can definitely hurt you. This is why companies will use credit reporting to analyze your desirability as a candidate for their products.
Which credit report errors can I dispute?
It is important to review your credit history report as errors can lower your score and hinder financial endeavors. You can dispute account-related errors, derogatory mark errors, and personal information errors. Statements that include late payments from over seven years ago, credit cards and/or loans that are not yours (personally, by co-sign, or authorization), wrongly labeled account closure and collections amount, and incorrect personal information (name, address, employer) should be disputed. However, credit reporting is not instantaneous, so it is advised not to dispute missing information as not all information has to be reported to all credit bureaus and changes may not be visible due to average processing time.
How are the annual credit report and score related?
Annual consumer credit reports and credit scores are related in that they both provide you with measurements of your financial standings. Your free yearly credit report delivers information detailing your credit history, such as personal details, owned credit/loans, credit balances, bill payment information and records of bankruptcy, tax liens and court judgments. However, it is important to distinguish that your totally free credit report does not include your credit score. Your credit score is a numeric value that is assigned to you using a mathematical algorithm based on all the information in your consumer credit report.
Will my spouse's history be displayed on my credit report?
Your free online credit report is linked to your social security number, meaning while marriage is the union of two people, it is not the union of their credit reports. Each spouse will maintain his or her own personal consumer credit report. However, if you apply for credit together or become joint owners for an account, the account activity will appear on both your and your spouse's consumer credit report. Additionally, when applying for credit together, lenders will take both credit reports into account. Therefore, it is important to check credit reports for errors when co-signing/co-authorizing credit as the information on your credit reports will reflect these changes.
When do I need to check my credit report?
It is important to check your free credit report online at least once a year to determine the information presented is correct. However, there are other occasions that encourage you to check your credit report more frequently. For example, before making a purchase that involves getting a loan or before applying for a new job you want to check your credit report to make sure the information presented is correct and that you are in a good financial position to move forward with your plans. It is also important to check your credit history report regularly to safeguard against identity theft.
Does checking my credit report affect my credit?
Requesting a consumer credit report is classified into two types of inquiries: soft and hard. Soft inquiries are when you personally request your free yearly credit report. Hard inquiries are when you apply for credit and the company/agency through which you apply requests your credit history report. Soft inquiries will not affect your credit, but hard inquiries will. Hard inquiries will stay on your consumer credit report for two years, but will typically only count towards your credit for the first year, and will usually take off less than five points per inquiry.
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