What’s in a Credit Report?

 

Well, in terms of your financial history and credit worthiness to lenders simply put: everything.  Your personal credit report is the single most important document that pertains to your financial information.  When lenders are deciding whether or not to extend you credit, give you a loan, or approve you for insurance, they look to your credit report first. 

 

 

Based on your report, they will decide if they should move forward with your application.  Even your income isn’t considered until a full review of your credit report has been processed, it is simply that important. 

 

Video: Preventing Identity Theft

 

Why You Need a Copy of Your Credit Report

 

personal credit reportIt is estimated, by the credit reporting bureaus themselves, that nearly one in three credit reports contain errors.  These may be simple errors, such as old or incorrect addresses.  However they can be major errors, devastating your credit worthiness without you even being aware of them, for example: 


Inaccurate late payment reports by your creditors 
Old or expired collection accounts that should be removed by law 
Accounts which do not legally belong to you 


Requesting your personal credit report is the only way to find and change inaccuracies that are hurting your credit worthiness.  The credit bureaus simply do not have the time or the interest to review your credit report for you. 

 

You should get a copy yourself today and get your report cleaned up immediately.   


Requesting Your Free Credit Report Today 


Getting your free credit report from the three major credit reporting bureaus has never been easier.  The law states you are allowed one free copy annually from each bureau. You are also entitled to another free report should you be denied credit throughout the year based on information provided from these reports.  To get your reports today, contact the three major credit bureaus directly: 


credit reportEquifax

P.O. Box 740241 
Atlanta, GA 30374 
1-800-685-1111

 

Experian

P.O. Box 2002 
Allen, TX 75013 
1 888 397 3742

 

TransUnion

P.O. Box 1000 
Chester, PA 19022 
1-800-888-4213

 

Why Are There Three Credit Reporting Bureaus?

 

There exists more than one credit reporting bureau, for a simple reason: it is a business.  These companies, while required to operate under U.S. credit reporting laws, are not government entities, but private businesses.  They are in competition with one another for the business of lenders and banks who wish to use their services to evaluate prospective borrowers.  Due to the fact that they are in direct competition with each other, they do not share information about your credit report with one another.  This means you need to contact all three of them for these reasons:

 

Your credit inaccuracies may be cleaned up on one company’s records of you, but not on another.

Your lender may be reporting to one agency but not the other, meaning your report may look good to one lender requesting from one bureau and different if requested from another.

You have no idea of knowing which agency your prospective lender may choose to evaluate your credit from.

 

Therefore you must maintain your positive credit history with all three.

 

Video: What the Credit Bureaus Don't Want You to Know

 

Why You Must Stay on Top of Your Credit History

 

credit reportIn addition to fixing your credit history for old inaccuracies, you should make a habit of checking your credit report.  Identity theft, according the FBI, is the fastest growing crime in the United States.  When your identity is stolen, you lose much more than the money stolen.  Your credit report may stay damaged for years.  This means thousands of dollars in high interest rates, getting turned down for loans you need, and many other headaches. 

 

There are credit monitoring companies to help you stave off a potential threat on your personal identity.  These companies monitor all additions to your credit history and notify you immediately should something appear.  This gives you time to review newly opened accounts, and quickly stop any accounts that were not opened by you.  A credit monitoring service is much like insurance.  It protects your credit history and your money from thieves for a small monthly payment.