Credit Reports
Understanding Credit Scores
Credit Definitions


In the beginning, credit cards were just charge accounts, offered by individual stores and only usable at those stores. The first credit card that could be used at multiple locations was offered by The Diner's Club in 1950. (full story)
In 1984, MasterCard was the first to use a hologram on its cards to deter fraud.

Discover Card History

Discover Card was introduced by Sears in 1985 and gained notoriety because it charged no annual fee

Credit Report 

Your credit report contains personal information gathered from many sources on an ongoing basis. Companies that have extended you credit will provide information to the three major credit report agencies, which include Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Lenders will use this information to make decisions based on their criteria.

What information is included in credit report?

  • your name and any variations of your name
  • your Social Security number
  • your date of birth
  • previous addresses
  • current address
  • employment data
  • credit accounts and history
  • public records (liens, bankruptcies, civil judgments, etc)
  • inquiries

Credit Report would consist of 10 sections that are listed below. In this example we go over a tri-merged report where information from all three credit agencies is merged into one report, and all three scores are presented. For a detailed explanation of each Credit Report Section follow the links below:

Credit report sections


Credit Score - What is it?

Credit Score - is a three digit number which is used by Credit Bureaus or Agencies to determine if you are worth of lending any money and if you are, on what terms.
Credit Score is the most important part of your credit report and the first thing lenders look at. This score indicates the level of your potential credit risk in a future. The higher the score, the lower the risk. Fees and interest rates are lower as well.
The credit scoring system using statistical analysis helps credit agencies

Your credit score changes every time as new information added to or the old one removed from in each credit report. Score changes will reflect the updated information. We recommend checking your credit report and credit report score every 8-12 months to be aware of any changes. It is also important to watch for potential identity theft which has become very widespread.


What is FICO Score?

FICO score - is another name for Credit score. When people talk about your score, they're usually talking about the FICO score. FICO scores are the most used for credit scoring.

Where FICO came from?

Fair Isaac and Co. wrote the software in 1980s that produces scores for three main credit reporting bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Hence FICO score. It is calculated using credit report data. See more detailed FICO definition.