Language Translation
  Close Menu



What's in a Credit Score? Plenty

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Blog topics: 

If you’ve seen any of the commercials highlighting the importance of your credit score (including how you can improve it), chances are you’ve had that conversation with yourself, a spouse or significant other, or maybe even your kids (as teens or young adults) – about what’s involved with those three-digit scores on your credit report.

The fact is, understanding (at any given moment) what is happening with your credit score and how it’s calculated isn’t always easy to explain. It’s a little like expecting someone to know “off the top of their head” the formula that major league baseball uses to figure out a player's slugging percentage.

Fortunately, March is National Credit Education Month and that makes it a good time to share some information about the steps you can take to protect yourself from cybercriminals when it comes to your credit report and your credit score, as well as all of the personal and financial data that goes into it.

A few quick facts to keep in mind:

Of course, as it is with a lot of things, cybercriminals try and use a variety of scams to steal your identity along with your good credit. One of the methods they use is known as a “credit repair” scam.

It’s important to keep in mind that there are a lot of reputable agencies and organizations that offer credit counseling services. You can ask them for free information about their services it can provide you and they’ll do it without requiring you to provide any details about your situation.

A “credit repair” company will start out by asking you to pay them upfront, even before they’ve provided you with any services. If you see an ad or receive an offer for someone to repair or “fix” your credit, there are several warning signs if the company:

  • Pressures you to pay up-front fees.
  • Requests you to dispute accurate information in your credit report.
  • Refuses or avoids explaining your rights to you.
  • Tells you to not contact any of the nationwide credit reporting companies directly.

Credit repair companies are subject to numerous federal laws, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act and often the Telemarketing Sales Rule, both of which forbid credit repair organizations from using deceptive practices and from accepting up-front fees. These laws prohibit many deceptive practices by credit repair organizations.

Instead, a better approach to managing your credit online is to proactively follow just a few steps with your own cybersecurity to help you stay better protected, including:

  • Turn on two-factor authentication whenever possible.
  • Change your passwords often.
  • Consider using a password manager.
  • Consider signing up for identity theft protection.
  • Consider using credit freezes or fraud alerts.

Building and maintaining a good credit history is hard work and there’s no easy solutions or a “quick fix” to improving your credit score.

But, if you think about it, you can celebrate National Credit Protection Month and (soon) Opening Day of the baseball season by being a lot like that major leaguer, in that, you’re ready to go. You’re not swinging at any bad pitches or you’re throwing your best pitch to strike out every batter that comes to the plate!