It’s truly astounding. When you apply for a credit card online that offers “instant approval,” that credit card company can zip around the internet in the blink of an eye and pull up your information electronically, know almost instantly whether you are a good credit risk, what balances you are carrying on your existing credit cards, and whether you have a history of on-time payments. (Sure, sometimes they need to take a few days to make a decision, but in general, they move pretty fast).
How do they do that? Is there some repository of information out there somewhere on the internet – maybe in a place that an identity thief might also be able to access just as quickly? Well, don’t panic. Your banks and credit card companies are keeping your information safe. In fact, the online credit card companies are not even talking to those companies directly. They get their information from the credit bureaus, and there are three of them: Experian, Equifax and Transunion.
These three credit bureaus are in the business of tracking and recording your behavior with credit from the time you open your very first credit account. They know whether you have a history of making your payments on time, whether you have ever defaulted on a loan, or if you open or close a credit account or loan. that information is noted in a document called a credit report, and each of these agencies has compiled their own credit report on you. From the information on your credit report, they also create a three digit number, known as a “credit score,” which represents your creditworthiness. Like the high score in a video game, your credit score lets other people know how well you can play the credit game. So when online credit card companies look online for information about you, this is generally the score upon which they will base their decision to extend you credit.
The best way to maintain a good credit score is to make your payments on time, pay off your credit cards and don’t carry high balances from month to month. As you can see, your credit score and credit report are important tools used by creditors to determine your creditworthiness.
Are you interested in finding out what your credit score is? Try a free credit score at GoFreeCredit.com – they’re a secure and credible source.