How to make sure your credit rating has not been affected

How to make sure your credit rating has not been affected

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Always be aware of your credit rating.

James Martin / CNET

If you are one of those affected by the Equifax data breach, you already know how important it is to monitor your credit rating. Your credit rating is an important part of your financial situation, especially when you want to apply for a credit card or loan or make an important purchase, such as the down payment on a new home or vehicle. Keeping track of your credit situation is an additional way to verify that your identity has not been stolen. Keep in mind that informing you about your credit rating has no effect on your credit.

If you have not recently reviewed your credit rating, start doing so with a company recognized as Experian and Credit Karma (below we present the complete list). There are several companies that offer a wide range of services at different prices, and even a free online verification and 30-day free trial. Keep in mind that some companies require you to enter your credit card information, but these usually provide additional services, such as identity theft insurance and alerts in case of suspicious use of your social security number.

First of all, how does a credit rating work? Everyone has a FICO score, which corresponds to your creditworthiness or credit quality and can vary from 300 to 850. The higher the number, the better. Some factors that affect your FICO score include "credit investigations" ("hard inquiries"), how to request a credit (your credit is subject to a review);" negative entries "("derogatory marks"), how to pay a late bill (this can keep your score low); and what proportion of your total credit you are using (the less you use, the better). You can get a FICO score from the three major credit agencies in the States United: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, then we explain what each service offers.

Experience

  • 30 days free trial
  • Price: US $ 20 per month
  • It offers you a tool to help you improve your credit rating
  • Includes identity theft monitoring
  • Offer to deal with the issue of fraud if you suffer identity theft or personal information
  • It shows you your FICO scores according to the three agencies (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax)
  • Monitor your credit
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Experian's credit rating verifier.

Screenshot by Katie Conner / CNET

Experian (or download the paraiOSoAndroid application) is one of the main credit monitoring services provided by your FICO scores according to the three agencies. Experian can help you improve your FICO score by using the utility bills you are already paying to apply them to your credit. Your new credit rating will take effect immediately.

The company also monitors identity theft and conducts daily checks of pages of the dark web to detect if your information has been stolen. Experian says that if he detects something strange, his support team will help you.

TransUnion

  • $ 25 per month
  • Includes free identity protection
  • Unlimited access to credit ratings and reports
  • Credit Lock Plus
  • It assures you for up to US $ 1 million in case of identity theft

Another of the three main credit monitoring services is TransUnion (or download the paraiOSoAndroid application). With TransUnion, you can review your credit rating report as many times as you want to see if your score has changed.

Trans Union offers identity protection through the service provider Javelin. Your monthly rate includes monitoring your credit, instant alerts if someone requests a credit in your name and insurance for identity theft for up to US $ 1 million. Credit Lock is a TransUnion service that keeps your credit profile locked until you decide to unlock it. For example, if a criminal asks for a credit in your name, the lock prevents it from stealing your credit information.

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The TransUnion credit rating verifier.

Katie Conner / CNET

Equifax

  • 30 days trial for $ 5
  • $ 20 per month
  • Show your FICO scores according to the three agencies
  • Includes identity protection
  • Send alerts in case of suspicious activity
  • Monitor credits and your social security number

The third of the major credit agencies in the United States, Equifax (or download its paraiOS application), suffered one of the worst data breaches in 2017, which affected more than half of Americans. Equifax has a three-year plan in place to regain the trust of its customers. If you were affected by the data breach, you can file a claim and get a free subscription to Equifax or receive a cash payment.

If you are willing to forgive, we tell you that Equifax services are on par with those of your competitors. The company provides you with a copy of your credit report and monitors your credit and social security number by scanning websites where consumer information is sold. Equifax also sends alerts about suspicious activities; For example, if someone requests a credit to your name at the other end of the country.

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Equifax monitors your credit and social security number.

Katie Conner / CNET

Credit Karma

  • Free
  • It allows you to check your credit rating for free
  • Monitor your credit
  • It shows you the credit factors and how they affect your score

Credit Karma (or download the paraiOSoAndroid application) is a personal finance company. You can use it to verify your credit ratings whenever you want and for free. You can also access your TransUnion and Equifax credit ratings, but not Experian. Credit Karma monitors your credit and sends you weekly updates. In addition, it notifies you if there is any change in your credit rating.

The site also shows your score and the credit factors that affect it; For example, if you are using a too high proportion of the total limit of your credit card, if you have negative entries or if you have been subject to a credit investigation.

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Credit Karma shows you your TransUnion and Equifax scores.

Katie Conner / CNET

Mint

  • Free
  • You can verify your credit rating for free
  • All your personal information is encrypted.

Mint (or download your paraiOSoAndroid application) is a free service to manage your personal finances. In addition to monitoring your payments, you can use it to find out what deficiencies your credit rating presents, for example, if you do not have an extensive credit history and in which areas you are doing well for example, if you pay your bills on time. Mint shows your payments per day, what proportion of your credit you have used (so you can see if you are close to your limit) and the average age of your credit, all on one screen.

After verifying your identity, Mint will send you the summary of your credit report and monitoring alerts of your credit in case your score increases or decreases.

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Mint shows all your credit information on one screen.

Katie Conner / CNET

FreeCreditReport.com

  • Free
  • It allows you to review your Experian credit score
  • The report on your qualification is updated every 30 days.
  • Monitor your credit usage ratio, your credit investigations and your late payments
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FreeCreditReport.com shows you your Experian credit report.

Katie Conner / CNET

FreeCreditReport.com is a limited service offered by Experian that allows you to access your credit report for free. The company provides you with an updated credit report every 30 days. You can access your account history, such as real estate and credit accounts. FreeCreditReport.com shows the credit investigations carried out to your account, monitors your proportion of credit usage and shows you any possible negative annotation against you, such as those generated by late payments.

Keep in mind that this service only shows your credit report and not your credit score. To see your score, you have to subscribe to Experian CreditWorks Plus. You can access a free 7-day trial for US $ 1.