Free Annual Credit Reports - They are Not Much of a Help without FICO Scores

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Get the FICO Scores first if you want to know how good your credit really is!

The Free Annual Credit Reports can be used to check for potential identity theft. You could get them to see if there are any accounts recorded that you don't recognize. Any suspicious item must be reported to the credit bureaus immediately. Even for this purpose, annual reports are not good enough. May be quarterly.

But if you want to improve your ability to get better termed loans or simply want to clean up your credit report then get the "Fico Scored" reports first, and from all three credit bureaus - TransUnion, Equifax and Experian.

Having only free annual credit reports won't provide you with enough information.

Here's why:

1. Lenders use Fico scores to define your ability to borrow money, not your credit reports, unless you are looking for a FHA loan. FHA programs don't pay much attention to Fico scores.

2. These days, most lenders use tri-merged credit report from all three bureaus with three different Fico scores.

3. Your Fico scores may change monthly or even every two-three weeks. So buy the most current scores, say 2-3 weeks before you are to apply for a mortgage or a car loan.

4. Fico scores are different among three bureaus. Lenders look for the one in the middle.

Let us suppose your Fico scores are as follows: 713, 660 and 590. So 660 is the middle score. So if you only obtain the highest or the lowest score you may think that the sky is the limit or that the sky has fallen. But in reality you are just ok.

You need to know which bureau exactly reports a lower or the lowest score and work with this bureau's annual credit report first to try repairing your credit.

Or imagine that scenario. You credit scores are something like that: 700, 632, and 632. Guess which one is the middle score? You are right, 632 is the one.

At Bad Credit Advisor, we also strongly recommend that you get all three annual credit reports at the same time.

Here's why:

1. They can report different items, that is, certain things that can be present on the Equifax's report are not on the TransUnion's one and so on.

2. By comparing all three, you would give yourself a better chance to see what's different about the report that has a lower/lowest score.

Once you have your credit scores and reports, you can start your credit repair by submitting credit dispute letters to credit bureaus.

To learn more about bad credit repair, debt consolidation and debt relief, credit counseling, payday loans and identity theft visit


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Tony Pikus
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