Frequently asked questions

What is a credit score and is it important?

The credit score was originally developed by Fair Isaac Corp. as the “FICO” score. A credit score is a statistical method that assists in determining the borrower’s ability to repay on a loan, product or service. The credit score combines pieces of data from the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion).

Typically, a credit score is a 3-digit number that goes up to 850 and is based on several different factors including credit history and amount of outstanding debt. Usually, the higher the score, the more likely the borrower is to make payments on time.
Your credit score is important as it may be used to reject or accept credit applications you submit.

Many times, applicants with poor credit scores will be approved for credit but at a much higher rate than paid by applicants with high credit scores. Your credit score may also determine the interest rate you pay for auto financing and leasing, credit cards, mortgages, and insurance. It can even affect whether or not you are approved to rent an apartment or be hired for a job.

Information reported to your credit bureau may remain on your report for up to seven years or more.

How is a credit score determined?

Your credit score is usually based on:

  • Timely payment of your bills
  • The amount of your outstanding debt and your credit limits
  • The length of your credit history
  • The amount of credit you have recently applied for
  • The number of, and the types of, credit accounts you have

How can I get a copy of my credit report or score?

You can order a free credit report at, or call 877.322.8228. An authorized online source for a free credit report is: Annual Credit Report Request Service, PO Box 105281, Atlanta GA 30348-5281
You can purchase a credit score by contacting one of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies:
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and in accordance with the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act), each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies must provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months

What are the 3 major credit reporting agencies?

The three major reporting agencies are:
  1. Equifax
  2. Experian
  3. TransUnion

Where can I get more information on credit reporting?

For more about the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the FACT Act, credit reports, and your rights as a consumer, please visit