Credit Q&A

Answers to our most common credit and financial questions

Quizzle provides a VantageScore credit score. The scale for VantageScore 3.0 is 300-850. Your score is calculated from information in your credit file. That information is divided into six categories, but not every category carries the same weight. The categories are: payment history, age and type of credit, percentage of credit limit used, total balances/debt, recent credit behavior, and available credit.

It depends on the scale and credit score model being used.

The scale for VantageScore 3.0 is 300-850. A higher VantageScore credit score indicates a lower likelihood of risk to lenders, so if you have a higher credit score, you generally can get credit at more competitive rates than you would if your score was lower.

At least once every 30 days.

Here's why:

  • Your information may change month-to-month
  • Creditors report on millions of consumers and mistakes do happen
  • Identity theft is growing – make sure you’re familiar with your report

There are several credit scores available and each has its own formula to determine your credit worthiness. No one score is better than the other, just different (usually by a small degree).

If you checked your score elsewhere and it was different than your free credit score in Quizzle, the other score may be using different criteria to assess your credit, or it may be based on a credit report from another credit bureau. Often times, there are discrepancies between credit scores because the scales are different. The difference in scores may also be due to variations in a credit score based on your financial activity and how quickly your creditors and lenders report such activity.

Not all credit inquiries (requests to check your credit report) affect your credit score.

There are two different types of credit inquiries (sometimes referred to as "pulls"): hard and soft.

Soft inquiries are not associated with applications for credit and do not affect your credit score. On the other hand, hard inquiries are associated with applications for credit and may affect your score. In general, you may see 3-5 point decrease in your score after the inquiry happens. Hard inquiries include a new credit card, auto loan or mortgage.

Requesting your credit report and score in Quizzle does not affect your score in any way.

Things to do when your credit score changes for the better:

  • Ask for better credit card rates
  • Check for better insurance rates
  • Check to see if you can lower your interest rate on your home

You can, but only under certain circumstances.

Here are a few things to consider if your credit score needs your spouse's help:

  • If you're only using your spouse's credit score when buying a home, your spouse will need to be able to support the full mortgage on their income alone.
  • If you can't qualify for a new credit card, having your spouse add you as an authorized user on one of their cards may help you out.
  • Adding your spouse as a co-signer when applying for a car loan can potentially improve your interest rate and likelihood of qualifying.

Pay your bills on time, every time, establish a mix of credit, and use only a small percentage of your available credit each month.

The first step to obtaining an 800+ credit score is to check your credit report.

Typically, credit reports and scores are updated about every 30 days. Your credit score may change each time you apply for new credit, close an account, or pay off an existing account.

Higher credit scores translate into lower monthly payments - in the case of a mortgage, that could mean many hundreds of dollars in savings each month.

If you've never had a credit card or loan (or you are rebuilding your credit) your credit history may prevent you from getting a cell phone, buying a car, or qualifying for a job.

Here are 5 easy steps to building credit:

  1. Get a secured credit card
  2. Charge only what you can afford to pay
  3. Pay bills on time, every month
  4. Don't apply for numerous accounts
  5. Check your progress with monthly updates

Generally, most lenders require you to have at least a 620 credit score to get a mortgage.

Your credit score, a stable employment history, and a down payment are the biggest factors when it comes to getting approved for home loan.

Learn where your credit needs to be and find specific opportunities to improve.

Like any other goal, qualifying for a mortgage is achievable with focus and know-how.

5 tips to get your credit mortgage-ready:

  1. Check your credit score every 30 days and correct mistakes
  2. Make sure you manage your current debt
  3. Pay down, but don’t close credit accounts
  4. Avoid using more than 30% of available credit
  5. Delay switching jobs during mortgage qualification

Yes, but an inquiry for employment will not affect your credit score.

Potential employers can and often do review your credit report for hiring purposes, but they do not have access to your credit score.

Employers may look at your credit report to verify your identity and see how you manage your personal finances.

Yes, there are 3 major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) and you have a credit report with each bureau.

Your credit report consists of information reported to the 3 bureaus by each your creditors. Typically, this happens once a month.

Lenders, insurance companies, property managers, or utility providers.

These are just a few entities that The Fair Credit Reporting Act gives permission to access your credit report.

Reasons someone can access your credit report:

  • At your request
  • In response to a court order
  • Related to a credit application
  • For a credit account review
  • Pre-employment screening
  • Underwriting you for insurance
  • Attempting to collect a debt
  • Child support enforcement
  • Make sure your credit report is representing you accurately

It's your right to dispute any inaccuracies on your credit report.

Creditors typically report every 30 days and this reporting impacts your credit score. Inaccuracies may hurt your chances of qualifying for a major purchase like a new house or car.

Check your report every 30 days.

Identity theft impacts over 8 million adults a year.

Protect yourself by getting an updated report to check for any suspicious new accounts.

Look for these common ID theft red flags on your credit report:

  1. Incorrect personal information, especially addresses
  2. Unfamiliar credit cards and credit accounts
  3. Unexpected use of old credit accounts

A credit, or a security freeze, prevents a credit reporting company from releasing your credit report without your consent.

Typically, a credit freeze is used to protect your credit file from fraud. Once a freeze goes into effect, no one can open new lines of credit in your name. In turn, this may also make it difficult for you to check your own credit report and apply for a loan.

If you would like to add or remove a credit freeze, you will need to contact the bureaus.

Public records are documents or pieces of information that are not considered confidential. They are collected and reported regularly by county, state, and federal courts.

Because public records may reflect poorly on your credit score, it's important to check your report regularly to make sure information is up-to-date and correct.