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Craft Your Credit Story with Trifigo

Thank you for stopping by and welcome to the first in the Blog Series for Trifigo, on helping millennial U.S. consumer better understand and improve their credit profiles and therefore their scores. There are many avenues for information as it relates to your credit scores, much of which only gives a snapshot of the information needed to understand how your credit scores are calculated, what information is captured in your credit report and what that information says about Your credit story. The team at Trifigo is here to drop a few gems and demystify much of the jargon and process that makes up your credit report and scores.

Almost all US consumers at some point in their lives will need access to credit to conduct some financial transactions (today credit scores and information are extending beyond just financial transactions, more on that to come). Credit is the foundation for much of our financial lives but it often clouded in mystery or the information provided is not delivered in a straightforward way. Your credit score will impact how much it costs you to borrow money in many forms, or can even cause you to be denied the opportunity to borrow from many ‘traditional’ (think your average bank) financial institutions. Your credit score is big factor in the rate banks charge your for most credit items such as credit cards, auto loans, school loans, mortgages, and personal loans to name a few. Credit scores have now found their way into other items such as your cell phone account, car insurance and even job offers (which can be rescinded in some cases for poor credit scores or other derogatory factors).

Whether you would like it or not, for most consumers there is a credit report on your that will tell financial institutions a story about you. Do you pay your bills on time, do you know how to manage your credit limits and debt balance? Overall do you honor your financial contracts and know how to minimize your personal risk indicators. If the story being ‘told’ by your credit report and score does nor reflect who you truly are or you would like to ‘tell’ a better story, that’s where Trifigo can help you.

See below for the major aspects of credit, simplifying the jargon.

Credit Score:

This is the number that is calculated by the credit bureaus, (Experian, Equifax and Transunion) that lenders use as a gauge to determine if you meet some lending criteria. Simply put this is your Credit GPA. A third party calculated, indicator of Trust for financial institutions. It tries to gauge how likely you are to fulfill the requirements of a contract and your risk level. The information in your credit file at each credit bureau is used to calculate your credit score, typically using a version of a FICO model. The information in each report may be different which typically leads to varying scores all the 3 bureaus. Higher scores typically mean less risk, why banks and other institutions tend to charge less in interest to people with higher scores. The scores range from 300 – 850, with varying categories withing that range from Poor to Excellent. You want to me closer to the top range.

Credit Report

This is the records that the credit bureaus have on each US consumer that has sufficient credit history. Your credit report is your Credit Resume that firms review when considering to extend credit in various forms to most consumers, similar to how companies review work resumes for job candidates. To calculate a score using your credit report, you typically have to have at least one loan/credit account that you have opened with at least 6 months of reporting history. (FYI, not all lending institutions report to all credit bureaus and some may not report at all).

If you took out student loans, you already building credit history. Because not all institutions report to all 3 bureaus you may see some differences in your credit reports in terms of balances, payments, accounts, etc. The information in this file/report is typically updated by the credit bureaus as it is provided by your creditors but as with all databases, it may not be 100% accurate all the time so it is on you to review your credit report for accuracy and dispute any incorrect information with the credit bureau.

Why Trifigo?

Our goal is to build a platform that delivers benefit to our users in 3 ways. First, our members can more easily understand the fundamentals of their scores and reports. Second, provide tools and recommendations to improve what your report and score says about you. Third, improve the financial decision making and behaviors of our members to Achieve Financial Excellence.

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