Thanks to the recently passed Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the information used to calculate your credit score will be less of a mystery.

With the passing of this legislation, lenders are required to give customers they turn down for loans copies of the credit reports used to make their decision. Though the law does not require credit bureaus to give out copies of your credit score when you order free credit reports online, this requirement could ultimately benefit anyone who is unsure of their credit score.

How This Could Help

Anytime an “adverse action” (declined loan, etc.) occurs against you, you are entitled to receive a copy of your credit report. Many Americans assume that as long as they meet their credit card’s minimum payments, they have decent credit. But this is far from true.

Receiving periodic checkups on your credit report can give you the opportunity to be more aware of your score’s actual state.

Avoid an Unpleasant Surprise

To avoid experiencing a harsh reality check, make sure you maintain good credit. Keep track of your credit lines, only carry credit cards you need and always be aware of your FICO credit score so you know where you stand.

How to Get Your Credit Report and Score

In addition to receiving your credit information whenever you are turned down for a loan, you are allowed to receive your credit report from government-sponsored credit site The site will not give you a numeric credit score, but it will deliver a detailed rundown of factors that impact your credit score.

Other sites offer more in-depth credit tracking and credit score generating services: provides tracking of your credit reports at three credit bureaus and access to your credit score.

Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus, offers similar credit-tracking services. The service costs $15.95 monthly from Equifax.

myFICO is a service that will issue your credit score to educate you on where you stand credit-wise. You can purchase credit-reporting service from Equifax or TransUnion through myFICO.

CreditKarma is a hybrid site that offers both free credit scores and a blog focused on credit cards and personal finance. CreditKarma is a website at which you can simply view your credit score and get informed on issues surrounding the industry.

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  • There are so many things which affect a credit score. I have been reading a lot on the topic because I have a very interesting case. I’ve been getting free credit scores from myFICO, CreditKarma (TransUnion score) and Quizzle (Experian score) for my wife and myself. My wife doesn’t work and doesn’t pay any bills, etc. I work, I pay all bills but still, she has a higher credit score than me! None of us have any bad information on our reports and I’ve never been late with anything. Considering the fact that only I bring income to the family, it’s just insane how it’s possible for her to have a score higher than me… If you have any ideas do let me know!

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