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What is a credit score? How to decipher a Credit Report.

Before deciding on what terms lenders will offer you on a loan (which they base on the "risk" to them), they want to know two things about you: your ability to pay back the loan, and your willingness to pay back the loan. For the first, they look at your income-to-debt obligation ratio. For your willingness to pay back the loan, they consult your credit score.

The most widely used credit scores are FICO scores, which were developed by Fair Isaac & Company, Inc. (and they're named after their inventor!). Your FICO score is between 300 (high risk) and 850 (low risk).

Credit scores only consider the information contained in your credit profile. They do not consider your income, savings, down payment amount, or demographic factors like gender, race, nationality or marital status. In fact, the fact they don't consider demographic factors is why they were invented in the first place. "Profiling" was as dirty a word when FICO scores were invented as it is now. Credit scoring was developed as a way to consider only what was relevant to somebody's willingness to repay a loan.

Past delinquencies, derogatory payment behavior, current debt level, length of credit history, types of credit and number of inquiries are all considered in credit scores. Your score considers both positive and negative information in your credit report. Late payments will lower your score, but establishing or reestablishing a good track record of making payments on time will raise your score.

Different portions of your credit history are given different weights. Thirty-five percent of your FICO score is based on your specific payment history. Thirty percent is your current level of indebtedness. Fifteen percent is the time your open credit account has been in use (ten year old accounts are good, six month old ones aren't as good) and fifteen percent is the variety of types of credit available to you (installment loans such as student loans, car loans, etc. versus revolving and debit accounts like credit cards). Finally, five percent is pursuit of new credit accounts, as measured by credit scores requested.

Your credit report must contain at least one account which has been open for six months or more, and at least one account that has been updated in the past six months for you to get a credit score. This ensures that there is enough information in your report to generate an accurate score. If you do not meet the minimum criteria for getting a score, you may need to establish a credit history prior to applying for a mortgage.

Keep in mind that your credit report can contain credit data on accounts that were closed and long forgotten by you. Frequently the companies have long since gone out of business or merged with other companies too. Also, just because an account is showing on your credit report doesn't mean that the creditor is still reporting on you. They could have stopped reporting on your account six years ago, but the old information will continue to show on your credit report until about seven years have passed. Creditors, aka credit card companies will frequently close accounts on their own, due to inactivity by you, but often don't report this fact to the credit repositories Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. As long as this old information is not negative in nature, then there is no reason to worry about it. You could ask these old creditors (if they still exist) to report your account as closed, but it will likely have NO impact on your credit score. If the information is negative, then often the best thing to do is to just wait out the seven years until it falls off (stops showing on) your credit report. Asking a creditor who previously reported negative information on you to change your account to show "closed" may have the unintended consequence of keeping that negative item on your credit report even longer than if you just let it alone. In other words, you might end up starting the seven year clock over again.

Refer to the following chart to help decipher all the credit report abbreviations in your report. Email me if you have any additions or corrections.

 

Credit Report Acronyms

 

Acronym

Description

Issues Cards for…

Useful Websites, Addresses, Phone Numbers

ADDM/CBUSA

Citibank issued card for Charming Shoppes, Inc.’s Added Dimensions

/Answers chain stores

Added Dimensions,

plus-size womens stores,

believed to be out of business

2002

http://www.charmingshoppes.com/

aboutus/history/our_history.asp

Am-Eagle

American Eagle Outfitters (clothing)

 

 

AMEX

American Express Card

 

 

Assoc/Citi

ASSB/CBUSA

Associates First Capital Corp.

 aka “The Associates,”

owner of Associates National Bank (Delaware)

was purchased by Citi in 2000.

Unocal,

BP,

Amoco Oil,

Fleetwood Credit Corp

financing  for RVs,

U.S. Fleet Leasing,

The Bank of New York,

JCPenney,

Texaco

 Avco Financial Services,

KeyCorp,

Shell,

Citgo,

Arcadia Financial,

Kelley Tire Stores?

 

B     Borrower

BAC/FLEET

Bank of America/Fleet Bank, later FleetBoston Financial

Bank of America

acquired Fleet in 2004

 

Bank One Aff

 

 

Delaware

Bk of Amer

Bank of America

 

 

BRCLYSBANKDE

Barclays Bank Delaware

Aer Lingus (airline)

Air Jamaica,

Air Tran,

Barnes & Noble,

Best Western,

BJ’s

(bigbox membership stores),

Buckmaster,

Carnival SeaMiles,

Carter’s,

Casey’s (General Store),

Century 21,

China Air,

Clark (gas),

Coast to Coast (RV resorts),

DirecTV,

Emigrant Direct (bank),

Frontier (Airlines),

FutureTrust

(college saving reward),

Good Sam Club (RV),

Gulf (Oil),

Harvard Alumni Association,

Icelandair,

I Fly America,

Jo-Ann (fabric craft stores),

Juniper Platinum Mastercard,

L.L. Bean,

Lukoil,

Lufthansa (Air),

Mailbox Teacher,

Market America

(internet shopping),

Maverick (Oil),

Midwest Airlines,

Oregon Community Credit Union,

OshKosh,

Performance Bicycle,

Princess Cruises,

Racetrac (gas),

Raceway (gas),

Rec Rewards,

Shopko stores,

Sinclair (gas),

Southern Living at Home,

Spirit Airlines,

Travelocity,

USAirways,

Vegas.com,

Virgin America Airlines

www.barclaycardus.com

http://www.aboutbarclaycardus.com/cards.php

 

Customer Service Team at 302-622-8990

 

*General Correspondence
Card Services
PO Box 8801
Wilmington, DE 19899-8801

 

*Credit Card Billing Disputes
Card Services
PO Box 8802
Wilmington, DE 19899-8802

 

*Credit Card Payment Disputes
Card Services
PO Box 8802
Wilmington, DE 19899-8802


*Physical Address
Barclays Bank Delaware
125 South West Street
Wilmington, DE 19801

C     Co-borrower or or Co-applicant

Cap 1 Bk

CAP ONE

Capital One Bank

A major credit card issuer

self

 

CBSD NA

CitiBank South Dakota,

Sears, Shell Oil,

800-843-0777

CCB NA

Chevron Credit Bank NA

was merged with

G.E. Money Bank in 2008

Chevron, Texaco

Chevron Credit Bank, N.A.

2001 Diamond Boulevard

Concord, California 94520-5737

800-243-8766

CHASE CC

Chase Manhattan Bank-Circuit City

Circuit City

 

CHASE PIER1

Chase Manhattan Bank-Pier1 Imports

Pier1 Imports store,

 

CIT Bank / DFS

CIT Bank

aka Commercial Investment Trust Bank and Dell Financial Services

CIT Bank issued credit for

Dell Financial Services

(computer co.)

www.cit.com

http://dfs.us.dell.com/Pages/DFSHomePage.aspx

800-283-2210

CITI

Citibank

Visa,

Mastercard,

American Express,

AAdvantage-American Airlines,

Bloomingdale,

Citgo,

ExxonMobil,

Hilton Honors,

Macy’s,

Phillips 66®-Conoco®-76TM

Sears,

Shell Oil,

Sunoco (gas),

The Home Depot

www.citicards.com

CPU/Citi

Citibank issued gas cards for

ConocoPhillips Co.

aka Conoco, Phillip 66, Union 76

Conoco, Phillip 66, Union 76. Also perhaps Citgo, Circle K,

DLA Date Last Active the date the account was last active with the creditor
DOB Date of Birth or birth date

DSNB

Department Stores National Bank

Previously Federated Dept. Stores,

now Macys (Inc.)

Issues Bloomingdales,

Macy’s,

DSNB VISA cards

www.macysinc.com

800-458-6229

ECOA
and/or
WHOSE codes
Equal Credit Opportunity Act

 

Key:
B=Borrower account
C=Co-Borrower account
S=Shared account with another
I= Individual account
J=Joint account belonging to B and C
U=Undesignated or unknown which belongs to
A=Authorized user on account that belongs to someone else

EF or EFX
or ECIS
Equifax, one of the big 3 credit repositories or credit infomation aggregators

FCNB

First Consumers National Bank

Eddie Bauer,

Spiegel,

Newport News,

NWP

Spiegel is BK. Now called

Eddie Bauer Holdings

 

FCRA

Fair Credit Reporting Act

 

 

FCU

Federal Credit Union

 

 

FIA CS NA

FIA Card Services National Association (name MBNA took when it became a subsidiary of B of A)

B of A,

Merrill Lynch,

Virgin Atlantic,

Fidelity Investments,

Brighter Planet

800-655-1491

FLEET CC

Fleet Bank, FleetBoston Financial

Bank of America purchased

in 2004

 

FNB Omaha

First National Bank Omaha

Issues cards in own name

for Visa and Mastercard,

Platinum, Rewards,

and College cards

www.firstnational.com

First National Bank Omaha

P.O. BOX 2490

Omaha, Nebraska 68172

888-530-3626

FRD MOTOR CR

Ford Motor Credit

Ford auto financing

 

FRDMYR/GEMB

Fred Meyer department and grocery

stores (owned by Kroger)

issued by G.E. Money Bank (GEMB)

Fred Meyer

department and grocery stores

(owned by Kroger)

 

GECCCC

G.E. Capital Corp. Care Credit

Macys West,

www.gemoney.com

GEMB

G.E. Money Bank is a card issuer for many retailers >>

Amazon,

American Eagle,

Banana Republic,

Belk,

Brooks Bros,

Chevron,

CostPlus,

Dillards,

ExxonMobil,

GAP,

Home Shopping Network,

IKEA,

JCPenney,

Kirklands,

Linens n Things,

Lowes,

Meijers,

Mervyns,

Old Navy,

PayPal,

QVC,

Sam’s Club,

ShopNBC,

Stein Mart,

Mens Wearhouse,

Walmart,

www.gemoney.com

/contact_us/retail_partners/index.html

866-239-4362

GMAC

General Motors Acceptance Corp.

 

 

HD/CBUSA

Home Depot card issued by Citibank

Home Depot

 

HHLD Bank

Household Bank

 

 

JCP

JC Penneys department stores charge

 

 

 

 

 

 

HSBC

HSBC/RS

Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HUGE UK bank orig hdqtr in Hong Kong, now London)

HSBC Retail Services (division)

Best Buy,

CompUSA,

SAKS Fifth Ave,

S&H Greenpoints,

VISA, Mastercard, AMEX,

Household Bank,

Orchard Bank,

Yamaha Motor Corp.

POB 5253 Carol Stream IL 60197

800-477-6000

See also:

http://householdwatch.com/logic/abouthsbcrs.php

LNT

Linens n Things

Cards issued by G.E. Money Bank

 

MBGA

Monogram Bank of Georgia

Montgomery Wards,

Casual Corner,

JCPenney,

Sam’s Club

 

MCCBG

Monogram Credit Card Bank of Georgia

Mervyns

 

MCYDSNB

Macys Department Store National Bank

 

 

MOS REV
MR
Months Revolving The number of months the credit card account has been active

NBGL

National Bank of the Great Lakes

SAKS Fifth Ave.

Saks accounts now with HSBC

NCO

FINANCIAL

SRVS INC

NCO Financial Systems Inc

NCO Group Inc.

Huge huge collection agency. According to First Am. CREDCO

they have been buying up all the small companies.

** CONSUMER HOTLINE PHONE: (800) 550-9619 **

Other lines: (800) 709-8613 or (888) 207-3081

Consumer Hotline Fax: (866) 269-8669

Business Calls: (800) 220-2274

Local phone: (215) 441-3000

507 Prudential Rd. Horsham PA 19044

http://www.ncogroup.com/Contact/Feedback_-_Info.html

* OSI branch 2920 Prospect Park Dr.

* Rancho Cordova CA 95670 * 888-289-0907

http://www.stop-nco-financial-collection.com/

PRVDN BNP

Providian Bancorp

 

Purchased by WAMU

800-356-0011

RNB-Fields3

Retailers National Bank, now Target National Bank

Previous bank issuer for Target, Dayton’s, Hudson’s,

and Marshall Fields stores

 

SSN Social Security Number

Target N.B.

Target National Bank and TFS Target Financial Services

Aka “REDcards”

Target (Stores) VISA card

Target Credit Card

Target Check (debit) Card

https://redcard.target.com/redcard/content/rcw_compare

Target Financial Services

Mail Stop 5C-F

PO Box 673

Minneapolis, MN 55440

888-755-5856

THD/CBSD

The Home Depot / CitiBank South Dakota

The Home Depot

www.homedepot.com; click on “Credit” tab

866-875-5488

TMCC

Toyota Motor Credit Co.

Toyota, Lexus car loans

 

TU TransUnion, one of the big 3 credit repositories or credit information aggregators

VISDSNB

Department Store National Bank VISA

VISA cards

 

WFB CD SVC

Wells Fargo Bank card services

 

877-778-5697

WFNNB

World Financial Network National Bank

“Express”,

Structure,

Victoria’s Secret,

La Redoute,

Lerner,

The Spiegel Group,

Lane Bryant,

Brylane Home

 

UCS/Citi

Universal Card Services Corp. (UCS), formerly AT&T, now a unit of CITIBANK

Now issued by Citi.

Issues AT&T Universal Savings Platinum

& AT&T Universal Savings and Rewards cards.

 

 

AT&T Universal Card Services,

sold in 1998 to Citigroup

AT&T Universal Card

Attn: Payment Department

1500 Boltonfield Street

Columbus, OH 43228

800-423-4343

US DEP ED

United States Department of Education

For student loans

800-848-0979

Ymaha

Yamaha Music issued by GE Money Bank and Yamaha Motor issued by HSBC

Yamaha Music & Sound Card

Yamaha Motor Corp. factory financing

 

YOB Year of Birth
XP or XPN Experian, one of the big 3 credit repositories or credit infomation aggregators

 

 

 

Questions about credit reports?

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