Your credit report contains information about your past credit history. Bill paying habits, delinquencies, late payments, foreclosures and bankruptcies are all on your report. And the information is available to be viewed by insurers, renters and lenders.
A persons credit report score can determine if credit will be extended at department stores, if a loan will be granted or even if you are allowed to rent an apartment, in a desirable place.
Negative marks on a credit report can be removed if they are not valid. If you feel any information on your credit report are incorrect, a dispute can be filed that can have those marks removed, temporarily. The easiest way to do this is to get in direct contact with the business or person who reported the information. A call or letter to the consumer reporting company about the mistake can get the remarks and blemish removed.
On the Internet there are several credit reporting agencies that claim to give a free report. Most of these websites require enrollment into a program (that charge monthly fees).
The only place to get an absolutely free credit report – that has been authorized – is from the AnnualCredit Report website. The credit report is free and you can get one per year that give details of your credit history.
The score on the credit report can be the determining factor in many aspects of your life. The better you take care of your credit score, the more respect you will receive when applying for a loan, an apartment and even employment.
If you have a high credit score, you can use your good name to buy big-ticket items with no money down, or get a home loan from a lender with lower interest rates.
Remember, your credit score is determined by you. Paying bills on time and loading yourself with debt will affect your credit score and late payments will reflect your poor financial judgement. Failure to pay bills on time and a lot of debts will automatically lower your credit score number. This will lead to increased interest rates and your payments will be higher each month.
TransUnion, Equifax and Experian are required to give everyone (upon request) a free copy of their credit report, once every 12 months. This report can be obtained whether you are turned down for credit, or not. A credit report can show who have been inquiring about your credit history and you can look for any mistakes.
What information is contained in a credit report? – A credit report will contain four elements of information:
* Your name, address, date of birth, social security number and any aliases will be listed. If you are married, the same information about your spouse will also be included in the report.
* All bank account information and debt payment history for your auto loan, mortgage and other debts.
* Court records, including foreclosure, bankruptcy, liens and any judgements against you will be in the report.
* When you apply for any type of loan or an apartment, an inquiry is made into your credit history. Each inquiry is listed in the report.
Keep an eye on your credit report, especially with identity theft on the rise.