How should you read a credit report?

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A credit report provides a complete credit history of a person. Your credit accounts, including credit cards, car loans, home loans, and any other type of credit you have with an approved lender, will be listed on the credit report.

Additionally, information about payment history, credit limit and account balance, date credit was opened, and status of loans will be included in the credit report (closed or open, paid in full, not paid in full).

A person who has filed for bankruptcy or a tax lien will also have their new credit applications, collection records, and public records included in their report.

What qualities of a report should you look for?

At the beginning, confirm that all your data is correct.

Next, focus on your credit history, especially the “adverse accounts” part, as this can reveal potentially damaging information like a delinquent credit account or an invoice that has been sent to collectors and could damage your credit.

In addition, you can still use the service and make, for example, a 100 dollar loan direct deposit to improve your financial situation. But you need to remember the terms of the loan and the terms of its repayment.

You may notice errors in this section that you want to correct. Contact the creditor first, then the credit reporting agencies.

Among its resources for disputing inaccuracies are sample letters, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a government organization.

Act immediately if something appears to be a scam, such as a mortgage on a house you don’t own. Contacting the credit bureaus should place a fraud alert on your account.

Both the Federal Trade Commission and the police should receive reports from you.

How is your credit report used?

When determining whether to extend credit to you and under what terms, lenders assess your credit reports as part of their review process.

Your credit scores are also determined using data from your credit file.

Your credit reports can also be viewed by potential employers and landlords who decide to hire or lease you.

When you apply for insurance coverage, a cell phone contract, or other services such as utilities, your credit reports may also be checked.

Obtain credit reports

Each of the major credit reporting organizations just mentioned is required to provide you with a free copy of your credit report once a year. However, you must request the reports; they are not automatically delivered to you.

Also, it’s wise to check with all three, as each agency maintains different information about you.

You can even stagger them so you get a free report almost every three months if you play your cards right.

How to interpret a credit report

Since each credit bureau prepares their reports differently, the items may appear in a different order, but they are all fundamentally the same.

Identification details

Your name history, current and previous residences, telephone numbers, date of birth, social security number partially hidden for security purposes, and current and previous employment are all examples of your personal information.

If your name appears in more than one place, don’t be shocked.

Variations of your name that you have used on credit applications will appear, including your last and maiden names, middle names with and without initials, shortened form of your first name, and more.

It’s not a big concern if one or more of your employers or phone numbers are missing. But be on the lookout for unknown addresses, especially if you discover unknown accounts later.

It could mean that someone has opened fake accounts in your name using your personal information. If you know of identity theft, report it immediately.

Also, don’t worry when different landers show you different numbers. According to a study by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, every lender has their payment methods, so results vary.

Earlier Employers

Past and present employers will be listed on your credit file. In the personal information area, employment history is sometimes mentioned.

Since your employment history has nothing to do with your credit or debt, it has no impact on your credit score.

Discovering inaccurate information, such as names of companies you don’t know or employers you’ve never worked for, is concerning because it becomes part of your credit file and is there to validate your identity.

Request Information

There are two categories of surveys: “soft” and “hard”.

  • “soft, tender” inquiries may be the result of reviewing your credit reports, companies making you pre-approved credit or insurance offers, or periodic reviews of your accounts by your current creditors. Informal inquiries do not affect credit scores. Therefore, checking your credit reports frequently is a low-risk method of tracking your credit accounts, as well as a way to spot any strange behavior or any erroneous or incomplete information that could be an indication of identity. flight.
  • “Hard” inquiries occur when organizations or people, such as a credit card company or lender, check your credit reports as a result of your application for credit or a service, such as a new loan, a credit card or a mobile phone contract. Up to two years after they are made, serious inquiries can affect your credit rating. The number of serious inquiries is just one of the variables that affect your credit rating.

Conclusion

Understanding how to read your credit report can help you maintain a good credit score and understand how to improve your credit.

To prevent potential fraud and identity theft, you should periodically check your credit reports.

You can make more informed judgments about your spending and borrowing habits after understanding why it’s important to check your credit report and how to do it.

About Charles D. Goolsby

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