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About Experian North America
Of the three major credit bureaus, Experian is the newest among them, having been formed in 1996. It was created out of a merger that included TRW Information Systems and Services, which at the time was the largest credit bureau in the United States.
When it comes to your credit information and the credit reports used by various lenders to determine whether or not you're someone they can feel confident loaning money to, Experian is often a company those lenders turn to in order to learn more about your credit history.
Experian provides credit services information to lenders and credit reports directly to consumers through the government's AnnualCreditReport.com website and through their own FreeCreditReport.com website.
Experian Credit Report
Experian's credit report uses the following calculations to help lenders determine the risk involved in providing you with a loan:
- Credit Usage – 30%
Experian looks at the total amount of money you're utilizing on your accounts. They compare the account balances to your credit limits to show lenders if you are a credit risk. The higher your credit usage, or utilization rate, the higher a risk you are when it comes to giving you a loan.
- Payment History – 31%
This is slightly more important than credit usage and is weighed heavier by Experian in determining the level of risk. Any late payments you make to lenders and creditors will show on your credit report for seven years (starting from the date that the lender first reports your payments as being delinquent).
- Account Age – 15%
The longer your credit history is, the more reliable you're perceived as being as long as the payment history is good. Experian takes into consideration any older accounts you may have closed and they keep this information on file for ten years as long as there isn't any negative information tied to it. (It's generally recommended that you keep older unused accounts open to strengthen your credit history.)
- Account Types – 14%
Experian looks at four types of credit: mortgage or real estate loans, credit cards, retail cards (like the kind you would get from a department store), and installment loans (these are loans that are have a payment schedule, like student loans or car loans).
- Credit Checks – 10%
Whenever a lender checks your credit, they make an inquiry. Inquiries from lenders and creditors are known as hard inquiries and they can affect your credit. Too many of these hard inquiries can make it seem as though you're prone to overspending your money. In addition, hard inquiries can remain on your Experian credit report for two years.
Experian Credit Scores
Experian's credit score range runs from 330 to 830. They pull information from the accounts you currently have (like credit cards or a mortgage, even rent), any sort of tax lien or bankruptcy, and inquiries made on your credit history to come up with your credit score.
Experian is able to use rental history information through their Experian RentBureau® service. The RentBureau enables you to build up your credit history through a rental payment service that reports your payment data to Experian; paying your rent on time can show that you are responsible with your money, making you more attractive to lenders when you apply for a loan or credit.
In 2006, Experian, along with Equifax® and TransUnion® developed a new credit scoring model called the VantageScore®. Most lenders will utilize the FICO® Score when determining if you're a risk – we have more information on both the FICO Score and the VantageScore to help you better understand the differences between the two.
If you'd like to get your credit report from Experian, you can obtain your free annual report from www.AnnualCreditReport.com or directly from Experian on their website. Please note that you will need to pay a small fee in order to get your credit report and score through Experian. You can also call us toll-free at 1-800-809-1107 to speak with our financial search specialists. Our free service not only helps you get your credit report and credit score from Experian, but from the other major credit bureaus as well. We can help you with any questions you have on your credit score and, if you need help, explain how you can improve your credit scores.