What is a perfect credit report score? 

I hear this question asked increasingly more now than ever before. The answer seems to lie, not in what is perfect, as it is extremely rare that anyone’s credit report score is perfect. What’s more important is what your credit report score is and what made it that way. First, I have to ask…have you checked your entire credit report file in at least the last year. You can get it free online, by telephone or written request. Second…if you have requested your credit report did it contain your credit report score and did you understand it? These are all mistakes that most people make everyday, not asking the right questions first.

Your credit report or Beacon score, as you might hear it called, is a direct reflection of your payment history and how you have handled financial hardships that may have made money difficult to budget. The final credit report score is somewhere between 300 and 800 points. 

Depending on your history you may or may not be shocked at the effect that some seemingly minor things have had on your credit report score. Applying for loans, housing or certain employment will constitute a recent enquiry and a drop in the credit report score if you are unsuccessful in your application. 

Making late payments, forgetting about a doctor’s bill, receiving a letter from a collection agency or filing for bankruptcy can all lead to a decrease in your credit report score.

Identifying the credit score number is the first step to improving it. Each individual is entitled by the fair credit reporting act to receive a free report if it is requested. However, it is worth noting that these reports rarely include the actual credit score, but an overall rating. To obtain the credit score you may need to sign up with a credit reporting company for a monthly service fee to get the first report with score free. 

The second alternative to a monthly service charge is to request and purchase a three in one report from the three major reporting agencies. This will usually cost a one-time fee.

To request and purchase a credit report including your credit score from a credit-reporting agency you can go online and retrieve it instantly, or apply in writing or over the phone. Using a credit reporting company to obtain your credit score will be more costly but saves a lot of effort on your part.