A Few Good Reasons Why You Should Keep A Check On Your Credit Report

Keeping track and maintaining your credit report has become all the more important in the current day and time. This is a shortcut to her to keep your credit report accurate and up-to-date. Maintaining your credit report means that you maintain the accuracy of information present on your credit file. There is much doubt and misinformation when it comes to credit report in the minds of the people. The commonest misconception or lack of information manifests in the form why are the person is not aware that he can access his on/credit report from each of the three credit bureaus for free. Also checking your own credit report does not affect credit score.

The reason why you need to keep track of your credit report is that not only do lenders check your credit report when you apply for credit at several other entities such as you landlords, employers etc might check your credit report in order to establish your trustworthiness and reliability. Employers prefer to hire people who are responsible financially and landlords prefer to rent out apartments and houses to people who are financially stable and sound. To these people a good credit report means everything and may make the difference between exceptions and denial for your application.

Keeping track of your credit report has been made easier over the years by providing you instant credit report over the years as well as a free copy from each of the three credit bureaus. However, many people still neglects this aspect of their financial well-being. They have no idea what their credit report is likely it’s too late and they get a rude shock and credit application is denied. Just so that you don’t have too be rudely shocked into acknowledging that your credit rating is suffering because of mismanaged and inaccurate credit report, make sure that your credit report has all the positive data being reported and no negative errors and mistakes on it. Not only is checking your own credit report easier but also disputing and removing the false and negative information. All you have to do is father dispute with the credit bureaus.

In order to have a sparkling credit you need to be a savvy consumer and be aware of your rights and privileges that come from having a good credit history. Your credit report not only determine your borrowing capability but also many other facets of your life. For this reason keep track of your credit report and make sure that the information it contains is accurate and positive.

The Important Points You Ought to Check When Viewing Your Credit Report

The first thing that you need to do in order to check your credit report, is to get a recent copy of it first. It is also equally important that you check your personal credit report rather than the one that is provided to businesses as your personal credit report is designed for you to read and understand it better as well as contains some information that is not made available on the ones meant for businesses.

In order to know where to get your credit report, you can read the following 2 guides:

Getting your Free Annual Credit Report and Where to Check Your Credit Report.

Now that you have got your credit report, we need to discuss how to check it. In order to check your credit report, you will need to verify the information present on it. So let’s start with understanding the credit report and the information present on it. Your credit report will contain a wealth of information. It will contain personal details as well as the history of all your credit accounts. It will demonstrate how your credit rating may be getting affected from the information present, which accounts are positive and which are negative.

Check Your Credit Report for Personal Information

The first section on your credit report will most likely be the personal information section. In order to check this, you need to verify that the name, address, social security number and all other identity identifiers are recorded correctly. All variations ever reported to the credit bureaus will be recorded here. These variations could be the result of a creditor misspelling your name, address details, transposing digits in the social security number, you using a name variation during credit application ( such as John B. Seymour vs. John Seymour) etc.

You need to check this section of the credit report in order to determine that it is accurate. Credit bureaus maintain all variations reported to give you the chance to correct erroneous information as well as provide an identifier to potential identity theft, in case someone has tried to use your information by opening a new account with a different name.

Check Your Credit Report for Negative Accounts

The next section will have information regarding your accounts, including your payment history. On the some credit reports, this section will only contain the negative items such as late payments, delinquencies and information from public records such as tax liens, court judgments regarding debt and bankruptcy filing. You need to check this section carefully to see that all the information reported is accurate. You have a right to dispute inaccurate information and have it removed from your credit report. But it will be difficult to remove inaccurate information that is over one year old. This is another reason why checking your credit report frequently is a good idea.

Check Your Credit Report for Positive Accounts

The next section contains accounts that are in positive standing with the credit bureaus. These are active accounts that have never been late, closed accounts that were always current etc. Check this section to make sure that all your accounts have been reported. A missing credit card account or a mortgage account that is healthy can make a lot of difference to your credit score.

Check your Credit Report for Inquiries

Inquiries happen when you apply for credit and the creditor views your credit report for the purpose of evaluating your credit worthiness. Too many inquiries result in a drop in the credit score especially if they happen over a short period of time. Check your credit report to see that all inquiries have come from your creditors. Unsolicited hard inquiries could be a pointer to identity theft and attempted fraud.

Check your Credit Report for Additional Notations

You have a right to attach a statement whenever you are in disagreement with the reporting of a particular account and filing a dispute has not been able to solve the problem. You can attach a special note saying that you are not in concurrence with the information on the credit file. This will allow you the opportunity give further explanation to the creditor when filing an application for credit.

Checking Your Annual Credit Report Is a Good Idea

Checking your free annual credit report online is a good practice since it can make sure that your creditworthiness is accurate and since it’s free usually have no excuse for not checking it at least once a year.

Checking your annual credit report regularly is a good habits to inculcate. Many consumers are surprised when the credit application gets denied to find that their credit report is not exactly how the thought it would be. It is not uncommon for consumers to find mistakes on credit reports with inaccurate or outdated information being reported. Mistakes such as missing accounts or wrong accounts being reported with a dated accounts can result in a negative impact on your credit application.

Even a person with no apparent credit problem can have items on the credit report negatively affecting the credit rating.

While there are many services being advertised especially online rate can access your free annual credit report, the only website where you can access your credit report for completely free is annual credit report.com. This website provides the credit report that every consumer is supposed to get according to the federal law. This website is maintained by the three credit bureaus Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.

Free annual credit report can be obtained from www.annualcreditreport.com. This website is jointly serviced by the 3 national credit bureaus Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.

You can either order a copy of your credit report from each of the credit bureaus or one at a time over the next few months. It’s usually helps to have an idea of what credit report your creditor will be using to the purpose of evaluation of your credit application. If you check your credit report with one credit bureau and your lender happens use another you could still face problems if you have not checked to the information on that credit report.

Checking and monitoring your free annual credit report can alert you possible identity theft, which is something that can harm a credit rating as well.

The primary purpose of checking your credit report is to make sure that all information reported is accurate and is that’s the information has not been compromised to make identity theft. You also need to monitor your credit report in case you are making efforts to repair your credit and need to monitor the changes happening on your credit file.

Learn to read and understand your Equifax credit report

Equifax is one of the three major national credit bureaus and is used by numerous creditors to check their credit report as the last report credit data on its existing customers. Since the credit report with Equifax is used by several lenders and lending institutions to check the creditworthiness of a consumer, you should check your credit report from Equifax and make sure that it is in order. You can order your credit report for free or directly from the website of www.Equifax.com.

Like the credit report from the other two bureaus your personal credit report from Equifax will start by listing your personal information such as your name, spouse’s name, address, employs and the last few digits of your Social Security number. This section will keep a record of all variations reported in the name and address as employment status. You should check that all the variations reported are either a result of you making an application with a different name, change of address or change in the employment status. And unsolicited and unexplained variation in any of your personal details could either be due to an error on the part of the creditor when reporting your information or could even be an identifier to identity theft.

The next section on the Equifax credit report is the public records section. This section will contain information from public records such as tax liens, federal court judgments and filings for bankruptcy. Basically this section covers all the negative items on your credit file so it will also include collection accounts, delinquent accounts, late accounts, defaulted loans, foreclosures and charge-offs. This is the section to watch out for and to make sure that it contains no negative entries as any entry in this section will raise question in the minds of your creditor.

After the section of the negative items, your current accounts and any previous accounts that are seen in a favorable light will be listed. This listing on the Equifax credit report will be identified as trade lines section. It can also contain information pertaining to payment history, high credit limits and other balances. Not all information in this section is considered to be favorable and will depend upon what loan you’re applying for.

The final section on the Equifax credit report is the credit Inquiries section. This section will contain the soft as well as the hard enquiries. Hard enquiries are enquiries made by creditors as a result of a credit application made by you. The creditor will make a request to: out your credit file in order to calculate your credit worthiness based on the information present on your Equifax credit report. This section will include all enquiries that have happened within the last 24 months as well as the soft Inquiries is which have resulted due to you requesting your own credit report, enquiries made by employers and landlords and for preapproved offers.

The next section will include any statements requested by the consumer to be put on his credit file which usually pertaining to disputed information on the credit report which has not been resolved to the satisfaction of the consumer. Every consumer has the right to attach a personal note in defense of disputed account.

You should check your Equifax credit report at least once a year to make sure that the information maintained by them is accurate and to avoid the risk of identity theft and credit fraud.

Learn To Read And Understand A TransUnion Credit Report

TransUnion is one of the three major national credit bureaus that maintain a credit file on the consumers. It is important to check your credit report from TransUnion as it is commonly and frequently used by creditors to access your credit information as well as to report. You can get one TransUnion credit report for free as frantic you by the federal law FCRA from www.andyourcreditreport.com or you can order directly from the TransUnion credit bureau by listing www.TransUnion.com.

The first part on your TransUnion report will continue personal information such as name, spouse’s name, address, phone number etc. It doesn’t you’d the last few digits of your Social Security number. Check this section for any errors and sees that you mean and social security number has been reported accurately. This section will record all the variations of names and addresses that have been reported to it by various creditors over the period of time. This is done in order to keep you notified of the difference in the information reported which could also be an identifier for identity theft.

The next section on the TransUnion credit report will list all major debits such as civil judgment, bankruptcy and tax liens. These are extremely negative items to be found on a credit report. Being unable to pay federal taxes and money owed to the government is seen as a severe financial disability and as a credit risk for number of years by a lender. Tax liens and bankruptcies also stay on the credit report for the longest period of time. A bankruptcy can stay on the credit report for a period of up to 10 years while an unpaid tax lien can remain on the credit file forever. Other negative items in this section will include foreclosures, car repossessions, loan defaults etc. These are all very negative entries on a credit report as the usually comprise of serious delinquency is on major lines of credit. Other potentially negative item listed in this section might include unpaid ethical bills which are very high or purchase of expensive merchandise. This section basically lists all the entries that have the potential of affecting your credit rating negatively even if the accounts are current.

The next section on the TransUnion credit report contains accounts that are not considered to be negative. These could be opened accounts, closed accounts or current accounts that have no balance. These listings affect your credit rating favorably and are seen favorably by the creditors during the time of application approval process.

The last section on the TransUnion credit report will include credit Inquiries. A high number of enquiries in a short period of time have the potential of affecting your credit score negatively. This refers to the hard Inquiries is made by the creditors only. Soft enquiries consist of enquiries made by employers, landlords, preapproved credit card offers and by yourself when requesting your own credit report. This section might also include notes about certain accounts and information on your credit file. Whenever you file a dispute with the credit bureau for which the outcome is not in your favor you have the right to include a note in your credit file explaining that you are not in agreement with the information present on your TransUnion credit report.

How to Read and Understand Your Experian Credit Report

Experian is one the three main national bureaus that collect and provide credit information on consumers. In order to view your credit report from Experian you can either get your free from www.annualcreditreports.com which is provided to you according to the FCRA federal law, or you can buy it directly from the website of experience which is www.Experian.com.

The formats that an Experian credit report follows is something like this.

The Experian credit report will list your name, report number and the date when the report was generated. There is a section called “Potentially Negative Items” which will explain certain entries in your credit report which may be affecting your credit score negatively. Significant debts such as bankruptcies, tax liens and civil judgments will be listed here.

The next section is called “credit items” and this lists current accounts as well as “collection” accounts which accounts that have been charged off by the creditor.

“Accounts in Good Standing” is the section that will list all your accounts that are either current in the present day or had a current status throughout during the time that they were functional. A closed accounts that was never late with stay on your credit report for period of 10 years. This is done so that a consumer can benefit from a hell the account as long as possible.

Not all accounts even though they are current will reflect favorably on the Experian credit report. A closed accounts has the potential bringing down a credit score specially it was settled while open accounts, can increase your debt to income ratio even though they are current.

Next is to follow is a section called “Requests for Credit History”. This section will consist of two subsections. One section will show the requests for your credit report made from other creditors and lenders based on your credit applications while another will list soft Inquiries is that have been made due to you requesting your own credit report or other soft Inquiries such as for preapproved offers, landlords, employs etc. This section will also list contact information of the people who have requested your credit report in the past.

If you find any error on your Experian credit report you have the right to dispute it by writing a dispute to the Experian credit bureau or following instructions on your online credit report to file a dispute online. Including all forms of documents to prove your claim helps to settle the dispute quickly and in your favor. If you cannot get a dispute settled in your favor and get information removed or updated as you wish you can still include a personal statement as to the dispute which will be visible to all future lenders that you had disputed the information and are not in agreement with the information listed on your Experian credit report.

It is also important to check the section which lists your personal information to make sure that your name is that right with the collect social security number etc. All of this information has the potential of doing damage to your credit if wrongly reported. It could result in a mix-up of accounts or confusion with the lender when you apply for credit.

How To Identify Key Information on Your Personal Credit Report

Lot of effort has been made by consumer advocates to simplify the information on a credit report. Reading a credit report can be difficult and continue confusing at first time. However if you try to go about it systematically and give yourself some time you’ll be able to understand it. The personal copy of the credit report that is provided to the consumer is different from the copy that is given to a business for credit application approval purpose. The copy given to the consumer is meant to be presented in a simplified form with some additional information given which is not provided to the lender many accesses your credit report.

The first section on your credit report will list your personal details such as your name, address social security number, employment etc. This information is easy enough to understand.

The next section will be borrowing summary and will include the information found in the rest of your credit report such as your late payments will past two years, your payment history, your total amount of credit and the amount of credit available to you.

The next section on your credit report will be the section about information collected from public records such as bankruptcy filings, tax liens and any legal judgments obtained against you in a court of law by a creditor.

If you have a mortgage than the next section will have a kind of a chart showing the bank, the type of loan, the limit of the loan and the amount you owe on the loan, when the loan was issued, the length of the loan and other pertinent information. The terms of the loan and the amount of monthly payments, the last of activity and even the last a delinquency date may be mentioned here.

It is important to go over each section of your credit report carefully and individually to make sure that it does not contain any error and it is being reported accurately. Even though a particular section may seem confusing taking time and patience to read it will enable you to quickly make sense of it. Do not try and rushed to the poor credit report or try to read it all at once. Break it down into two different sections to make it easier for yourself.

Your credit report will also contain information about which factors are impacting your credit score negatively.

Although the format of presentation of information differs from each credit bureau, you can easily identify the key information that has the potential of affecting your credit score. There are certain kinds of information that you will need to pay special attention to if you want to make sure that your credit report stays accurate.

Even the most basic and mundane information on a credit report such as your name and address should be checked and kept accurate. The credit bureau seeks to maintain all variations of the name and addresses reported to it at all points of time. It uses various identifiers and such as social security number to make sure that all the information for one particular consumer finds its way on the same credit report. However, in spite of this variations in name can result in mistakes happening and accounts missing from the credit report or accounts that two not belong to you being reported on your credit file. For this reason you must read carefully through all the basic information. The essential information that has the potential of affecting your credit score is as follows.

Name of the Creditors Account

Account Number

Payment Pattern and History

Account Status

Enquiries by Creditors (not for preapproved offers)

If you find any discrepancy in the information listed, such as an account Longley reported as late or an account that does not belong to you, you should file a dispute with the credit bureau. You can call up customer care representative over the phone if you have a recent copy of your credit report. You can cite your credit report number which is mentioned on top and ask for clarification.

2 Important Reasons to Check Your Credit Report

The two most important reasons to check your free credit report on a regular basis are:

  • Checking for Errors and Wrong Information and
  • Before Applying For A Major Loan

Checking for Possible Errors And Wrong Items On the Free Credit Report

Sometime back it was estimated in a study that more than 70% of credit reports contain some sort of an error of you. As mundane and small the error may be it has the potential of affecting your credit score.

Even if it does not affect the credit rating it has the potential of resulting in an application getting the lady in the approval process or even getting denied.

Viewing your credit report at least once a year from all of the three credit bureaus is important because the information on different credit files may differ.

A lender may use your credit report from any of the three credit use all marched report from all three. Wrong and in inaccurate information that is hurting your credit score may affect the creditor’s decision in any case. For this reason you should check your credit report and dispute any error with the credit bureau as is your right. This also makes it mandatory for the credit bureaus to investigate each claim off a dispute by the consumer.

Checking your credit report and filing disputes with the credit agency is the foremost method of removing wrongly reported information from your credit report.

Being Aware Of Your Credit History

The second reason for checking your credit report is to know what your credit rating is like before you apply for a major form of credit. Most of the people get a rude shock when their credit application is denied and they cannot figure out why. They are in for an even nasty surprise when the view their credit report. Factors such as inadequate debt of history, inadequate mix of credit or one late payment can affect the decision-making of the lender.

You can address all these factors if you use your credit report in time.

If you figure that in order to improve your credit report and credit rating you need a few months, then it is better to take this time to improve the information on your credit report before applying for credit.

Viewing a credit report may surprise you. Even people without any credit problems have discovered issues on their free credit report that is detrimental to their credit rating. Information like a reported late payment the one time that you forgot to make the credit card payment on time

Information on your credit report about a single instance of late payment will not affect your credit score in the long run.

While credit scores consider credit history and it is likely that a sigular item like that will not affect your credit score in the long run. But is it is recent, then it may interfere with you getting a new loan.

An old account that you paid off is still showing on the credit report as ‘unpaid’ or ‘settled’ instead of ‘paid and closed’.

Either way, checking your free credit report will present you with the  opportunity of rectifying whatever information that you can either by disputing or by contacting the creditor and requesting that the information be taken off, specially if  you  are an existing customer.

Wrong information on your credit report can either be removed by disputing it with the credit bureau or contacting the lender to correct it from his end.

 

Learning How To Read And Interpret The Information Contained On Your Personal Credit Report

Learning how to read and decipher your credit report is important. In today’s tie manage a credit report is used for decision-making by various people. The information present on your credit report can be used to determine whether you get a house on when, qualify for a mortgage loan, and find employment and even utility services. For this reason it is important that you should understand and know how to read your credit report. This will help you identify the areas that need attention.

The importance of credit report and the rise of identity theft was one of the main reasons behind the implementation of fair and accurate credit transactions act which amended the fair credit reporting act. Apart from providing you with the right to a free credit report, centralized fraud reporting, right to dispute and more pressure on creditors to respond to consumer’s complaints, the credit reporting and credit scoring industry is still a mystery to a majority of consumers. Reading a credit report can be complicated and can add to the confusion.

There has been a lot of activity by consumer advocates that have been choosing the importance of credit education and of a consumer understanding how the credit system works.

The first step in you to understand how your credit stands is to view your credit report and understand. When you order your copy of the credit report you will also receive an explanation for the information on your credit file that maybe influencing your credit score negatively. Your three main credit files are recorded with the three main national credit bureaus Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. The format of presenting the information differs with the three national credit bureaus.

However, you should concentrate on the a few key areas that have the potential of affecting your credit score and reading any summary given either credit bureau about why these areas are suffering. We will discuss the key information in a credit report in the next post.

How Often Should I Check My Credit Report?

A person can be a free copy of his credit report from each of the three national credit years from www.annualcreditreports.com. This means that you should check your credit report from each of the credit bureaus at least once a year. You can get a free copy of each of your credit reports once in 12 months. Checking your credit report can alert you to identity theft and also to any errors that are present on your credit report. Checking your credit report is important because a lot of lending decisions as well as other decisions such as housing rental and employment may depend on the information present on your credit report.

It is always a good idea to check your credit report well in advance before making an application for a major form of credit so that you have the time to fix errors and repair your credit data present on the credit report.