Credit Education

Understand, Build and Manage Your Credit. Credit plays an important role in your life – affecting the purchases you make and much more. The more insight you have about credit, the easier it is to strengthen your financial well-being. Learn how to successfully manage your credit rating and protect against credit card fraud.

  • Report Basics

    • My Credit Report

      Your personal credit report contains details about your financial behavior and identification information. You can learn more about your credit report here.

    • About Checking Your Credit Report

      You should check your credit report before making a big purchase. Find out what you need to know about checking your credit report here.

    • Understanding Your Experian Credit Report

      Staying on top of your credit report is important to your financial well-being. To help you learn the basics, here’s a section-by-section breakdown of an Experian consumer report.

    • Collections on Your Credit Report

      If the collection information is valid, you must wait 7 years from the original delinquency date, and if it is inaccurate, you can file a dispute.

    • Hard vs. Soft Inquiries on Your Credit Report

      Information on what and how hard inquiries work, the impacts to your credit report and score, and tips on how you can manage them.

    • Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

      The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) promotes the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information in the files of consumer reporting agencies.

    • Account Status Glossary

      Glossary of definitions for common credit report account and payment status terms.

  • Score Basics

    • What is a Good Credit Score

      Most credit scores fall between 600 and 750. A score above 700 usually suggests good credit management. Find out more about good credit scores here.

    • Understanding Credit Scores

      A credit score is a number lenders use to help them decide how likely it is that they will be repaid on time if they give a person a loan or a credit card. Click to learn more.

    • What Affects Your Credit Scores?

      Learn about the factors that can impact your credit score, along with the types of information on your credit report that can negatively impact your score.

    • My Credit Score

      Your credit score can help determine whether or not you qualify for a credit card or loan. Learn how your credit score is calculated and why it matters to lenders.

    • What is a Credit Utilization Rate?

      Find out what a credit utilization rate or ratio is, how it can impact your credit report and score, and recommendations to minimize its impact.

  • Improving Credit

    • How to Build Credit

      Find out the steps you can take to build your credit history. Get tips for using credit and advice for first-time credit seekers.

    • How to Rebuild Credit

      Learn about the factors influencing your credit and what steps you can take to rebuild your credit and towards a more positive credit score.

    • How to Improve Your Credit Score

      Ready to improve your credit score? Click here to find out how to improve your score and how long it will take before you see a change.

    • Bad Credit History and Rating

      What should you do if you have a bad credit history or rating? Find out the steps you should take to improve your credit.

    • How to “Fix” a Bad Credit Score

      “Fixing” a bad credit score takes time, but there are options if you have trouble getting approved for a credit card or loan.

    • Credit Repair: How to “Fix” Your Credit

      There isn’t anything that a credit repair service is able to legally do for you — even removing wrong information — that you can’t do for yourself for little or no expense.

  • Preventing Fraud

    • What is Credit Fraud

      Credit fraud is a broad term for the use of a credit card (or any comparable type of credit) to buy goods or services with the intention of evading payment. Click to find out more.

    • Credit Card Fraud: What to Do if You’re a Victim

      Learn what credit card fraud is, what the types are and how to identify them, how it can impact your credit, and what to do if you become a victim.

    • Fraud Prevention

      Experian is committed in helping consumers with fraud and with protecting consumer credit information. Learn more about fraud prevention here.

    • Victim Assistance

      Find out the steps you should take if you notice something unfamiliar or suspicious on one of your accounts or if someone commits fraudulent activity using your identity.

    • Fraud FAQs

      Find answers to commonly asked questions about fraud, identity theft, fraud alerts, security alerts, recognizing fraud, victim statements and more.

    • Fraud Resources

      View contact information and resources for assistance with matters of fraud. Find out who to contact based on the type of fraud or suspected fraud you’ve experienced.

    • Security Freeze

  • Loans and Debt

  • Life Events

    • Marriage and Credit

      While you and your spouse each have separate credit reports and scores, joint accounts can impact both of you. Learn more about marriage and credit here.

    • Divorce and Credit

      How does divorce impact your credit? Click to learn more about credit and divorce and find tips for maintaining a positive credit history.

    • Death of a Spouse

      Managing your credit in the event of a death can be difficult, especially if your spouse held most of the credit in his or her name. Find advice and resources here.

    • Employment

      Federal law allows potential and current employers to view a modified version of your credit report for employment purposes such as hiring or promoting. Find out more.

    • Purchases

      Your credit report and credit score can be big factors in purchase decisions. Learn how you can prepare for life’s major purchase events, like buying a home.

    • Establishing Business Credit

      If you own a small business, there may be a business credit report in your name. Learn more about business credit reports and establishing business credit.

    • Planning for Retirement

      Make sure you’re set for a happy retirement. Click here for advice about your credit, Social Security, and retirement planning.

  • FAQs

    • Credit Report FAQs

      Find answers to commonly asked questions about credit reports, including what’s on your credit report and how you can make changes.

    • Credit Score FAQs

      Find out how credit scores are determined and why they’re important in this section of frequently asked questions about credit scores.

    • What is Credit

      Credit is borrowed money that you can use to purchase goods and services when you need them. Click here to learn more about what credit is and why you need it.

    • Credit Myths

      Do you believe these common credit myths? Click here to learn more about how credit reports and credit scores really work.

    • Life Events and Credit

      Learn how life events, such as starting college or getting a divorce, can affect your credit. Find out how you can establish and maintain a positive credit history.

    • How to Dispute Credit Report Information

      Get the authoritative information from Experian on how to dispute credit information, along with tips and the different ways to contact Experian.

    • Disputes FAQs

      View commonly asked questions about Experian’s disputing process and questions about how certain items can impact your credit report.

    • Instructions for Disputing by Mail

      Get specific information on how you can dispute by mail, along with all of the necessary documentation, along with what the next steps are.

    • Experian’s Document Upload Service

      Learn how you can send documents to Experian by using our upload service, along with frequently asked questions about the upload process.

    • Annual Credit Report FAQs

      Frequently asked questions from AnnualCreditReport.com on identity theft, security freezes, data breaches, filing a dispute, and inaccuracies.

    • Preapproved Credit Offers

      • Mailing Lists

        Find out how you might end up on a mailing list for pre-approved credit card offers. Learn more about your consumer rights.

      • Opt Out

        You may choose to exclude your name from credit reporting agency lists for unsolicited credit and insurance offers. Learn more about what it means to “Opt Out” here.

    • Glossary

      Not sure what something means on your credit report? Use our glossary to find definitions for common credit and finance terms.

  • Blog

    • Credit Info

      Read our latest blog posts about credit reports and credit scores. Get information about credit with infographics, and tips to help you navigate your credit.

    • News & Trends

      View credit news and trends, along with our latest survey results and information on credit trends related to the consumer credit markets.

    • Protecting Your Identity

      Get tips and advice on how you can protect your identity and prevent fraud. View our infographics and articles for tips to keep your identity safe.

    • Video

      Check out our video section to learn more about credit reports and credit scores from interviews with finance and consumer industry experts.

    • Audio

      Listen to podcasts to find out more about credit and finance from interviews with personal finance and credit experts.

    • Community

      Find out what the Experian community is talking about. Click to learn more about live chats and upcoming credit Q&As on social media.

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Credit Education

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Are rent to own loans good for my credit?

Dear Readers, People often ask if rent-to-own loans help build a credit history. Unfortunately, the answer is no, because such loans are not currently reported to the credit reporting...