How to make your credit score higher, faster and safer
Credit scores are a powerful tool in the quest to protect yourself from fraudulent activities.
But how to best use them to your advantage is an ongoing debate among the credit bureaus.
Now, the Federal Trade Commission has released guidelines that could help consumers avoid getting hurt by identity theft and identity fraud.
Read MoreIn a press release, the FTC says the guidelines are designed to help consumers protect their credit and that consumers can use them in two ways.
First, consumers can sign up for a new credit monitoring account and then add their own credit report information and other data to help their credit scores improve.
Second, consumers are encouraged to use a credit monitoring tool that provides a report on their current credit score.
The FTC is asking credit bakers to share these recommendations and additional information about the use of their products with consumers so that consumers don’t have to make difficult choices.
According to the FTC, credit monitoring accounts are more effective if consumers make sure they have a valid credit card, are enrolled in a credit union, and pay a minimum balance to access the account.
The FTC says a credit score report is a more accurate indicator of your financial standing and can provide consumers with a better understanding of whether to seek a loan or a loan modification.
The company that developed the FTC guidelines, Equifax, said the FTC’s guidelines could help to improve credit scores.
The report on the FTC website states that credit reports are used for three main purposes: (1) to help protect consumers against identity theft, (2) to provide information to the credit reporting agencies on whether a consumer is in default on their debts, and (3) to assist the lenders and debt collectors in making loan decisions.
The Equifax report said consumers can review a credit report for up to three months at a time and use it to verify their identity if they want.
The credit reporting companies that the FTC is urging credit barers to share the new credit report guidelines with consumers include:Equifax, Experian, TransUnion, TransCredit and TransUnion Capital.