Q&A: If you wanted to know what factors contributed to your credit score, how could you find out?

Updated on October 27, 2023

Question: If you wanted to know what factors contributed to your credit score, how could you find out?

Answer: Understanding the ingredients that make up your credit score is key to managing it effectively. Here’s how you can get the inside scoop.

First off, you can check your credit report. This report is like a report card of your credit history, and it’s what your credit score is based on. You’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You can snag these through AnnualCreditReport.com. Now, while this report doesn’t give you your credit score, it shows all the info that affects it.

Another route is using online credit monitoring tools or credit score services. Many of these (like CreditWise, Credit Karma, or even some services from banks or credit card issuers) don’t just show you your credit score; they break down the factors affecting it. These might include your payment history, credit utilization rate, length of credit history, and more. The cool part? They often explain how each factor impacts your score and offer tips for improvement.

Also, if you’ve applied for credit and were denied or didn’t get the best terms, you might get what’s called an “adverse action” notice. This notice should explain why you were turned down or didn’t get the best terms, based on information in your credit report or score. It’s a helpful way to understand what areas might need some work.

By understanding what factors contribute to your credit score, you’re better equipped to make decisions that can boost it over time. Whether it’s paying bills on time, reducing debt, or handling new credit responsibly, every positive action can help improve your credit health. So, it’s definitely worth digging into the details!

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  • Stilt, Inc. and its affiliates do not provide financial, tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own financial, tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

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    Frank Gogol

    I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.