Your credit report is a gallery

Your credit report changes, it grows and evolves.

Think of your photo gallery — you're adding new pictures all the time, right? And no single one of them sums up who you are. But together, they're a pretty good composite of your life. Well, the same goes for your credit report — each item that's reported is just one element of your overall credit, but together they tell a compelling story of the way you use your money, and they tell lenders whether your information tells the story of a consumer they want to extend credit to.

For each 'snapshot' of credit information, there's associated information. Tags, if you will. And your tags include how long an account has been open, whether you're paying your bills on time, and how often you're seeking or getting new credit.

If someone looked at one collection of your photos — say, your gallery of that trip to San Francisco last year. They'd know what you did on one trip — but not about the rest of your life — like they would if they had your whole album. That's sort of like just looking at your credit card statement — lots of great detail, but not as complete as your credit report.

When a potential lender looks at your credit report, they get a close look at your financial gallery: they get to see which snapshots you put up front, the ones that are a little blurry…you get the picture.

The ability to quickly, fairly, and consistently consider all of this information, including the relationships between different types of credit-based information, is what makes credit scoring so useful. The system for updating your credit report is simple. Most creditors forward information to the credit reporting agencies on a monthly basis. The tricky part is that the day of the month that each individual creditor sends updates varies. For example, creditor A might update on the first of every month, while creditor B updates on the 11th. That's why it's so important to have daily access to your credit report. It's always good to see who's uploading new pictures of you.

Take the next step: protect your credit and start saving money.

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