There are a number of conflicting reports on which credit card companies only use Equifax for obtaining credit reports. The most consistent reports are that Chase Credit Cards and Citibank are the biggest major credit card companies who use Equifax exclusively. Apparently most credit card companies in the northwestern United States also tend to use only Equifax.
To find a credit card from a particular company or region, use the credit card chaser.
Many credit card companies use information from multiple credit bureaus. In addition to Equifax, they might get information from TransUnion or Experian. Your credit score can vary quite significantly from one credit-reporting agency to another.
How can a bank credit card help or hurt your credit score?
A bank credit card can help you build credit if you use it responsibly, or destroy your credit if you use it irresponsibly. People who have one or two credit cards and pay their full balance every month prove themselves to be responsible and a good credit risk. It also helps if your limit is not too high—part of your credit score is based on how much you could possibly put yourself in debt at any given time.
The easiest way to hurt your credit rating is to have too many credit cards. Too many open credit cards, not paying on time, not paying enough of your bill, having credit cards with limits that are too high—all of these things are red flags on your credit report.
Does your credit rating matter for getting a store credit card or gas credit card?
Store and gas credit card companies will check your credit report just like a bank credit card company will. Sometimes it may appear that they don’t check because their credit requirements are not as stringent, mainly because they usually have lower limits. Store and gas credit cards count toward your total available credit, so they do affect your credit rating, if the store or gas station reports them to a credit agency.
How can I find out about my credit rating before applying for a loan or bank credit card?
It’s always a good idea to check your credit report so that you can correct any errors before you apply for a major loan or a credit card. You can do this by contacting the three major credit bureaus directly, but there is a fee associated with it.
There are other places to get your credit report, often free, but you need to beware of scams. You never want to give your social security number or other personal information to an unknown business. In addition, most free credit report places will charge you extra to find out your FICO score, which is what you really need to know if you’re wondering what kind of interest rate you might qualify for with a loan.
When establishing credit, are secured cards, bankcards or store cards better?
Establishing credit for the first time or re-establishing credit after a bankruptcy is usually a multi-step process that involves several different types of credit card. If you think of it as a ladder, the most effective types of credit building tools are at the top of the ladder, but you can’t get there without using some of the other rungs along the way.
The first step on the credit-building ladder is usually a secured credit card. Just about anybody can get one of these because they require you to put up the money that will be available for you to use on the card. This represents a zero risk proposition for a credit company that allows you to have a credit card and build a little credit history.
The next step in establishing or re-establishing credit is the store card or gas card. These usually have lower limits and lesser credit history requirements, so they are not too tough to get. If you have a store credit card or two, use it occasionally and pay more than the minimum balance every month on time, and you will build credit. The trick is not to overdo it—having too many of these credit cards can actually hurt your credit rating.
Once you have some credit history from the secured credit cards and/or the store or gas credit cards, you will probably qualify for some sort of a bank credit card. Once you have the bank credit card and establish a pattern of paying it on time, you will start to raise your credit score to the level where you will qualify for loans. Eventually, you will qualify for good rates on loans, as well.
To find online credit cards, use the credit card finder now!
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