Understanding Credit Reports
 Know Your Credit Report

The first step in repairing your credit is understanding credit reports in general.  If you do not understand how to read your credit report, then you cannot perform credit repair and clean up your report.

Your credit report has an incredible amount of data in it, and it can be confusing if you do not know what you are looking at.  It is easier to understand if you look at different parts of the it, then to look at it as one large picture.  It is like a report card for your credit history.

Understanding your credit report does not have to be too scary.  There are many different credit reporting agencies that keep, collect, organize, and rate your credit.  Equifax, Experian, and Transunion are the top three most used credit reporting agencies. 

There is a law that allows us as the consumers to get a copy of our own credit report each year for free.  This has been a law since 2005, and helps us to be able to see what the credit reporting agencies are telling the lenders about us.  This also gives us the opportunity to repair any issues we might have with our credit reports.

Understanding Credit Reports Part 1:

This section will include your name, date of birth, social security number, your telephone number, your last few addresses, and your employment information.  It is crucial that this information is accurate.  If your old addresses are listed there, it’s in your best interest, especially if you will be disputing charges, that you remove old information.  If your listed employer is not your current employer, you should remove that, as well.

Understanding Credit Reports Part 2:

A key to understand your credit reports is your account summaries.  This is where your bank cards, auto loans, mortgages, or any other kind of line of credit will appear.  This information should include the date you opened the account, your credit limit, and how much you have used of your credit limit. 

There is also a place for the store or companies telephone number.  The bottom of each account is extremely valuable.  Your payment history will be listed there.  Remember even a late, hurts your credit score.  Make sure these are all accurate, and if they are not make the credit reporting agencies remove these first.

Understanding Credit Reports Part 3:

After the account summaries, you will see the section of the credit inquiries.  This is where the list of any lender that has accessed your credit report in the last two years will appear here.  The dates of the inquiries are listed, along with the company that requested a copy of your credit history. 

They could request it because you are seeking a loan, or because you owe them money.  Whatever their reason is, this can hurt your credit score.  Many lenders, if they see that you have been out shopping for different loans, may wonder why you did not use the other companies or why the other companies did not give you the loans.

Understanding Credit Reports Part 4:

This is the section of the negative marks.  This will show you a brief outline of where your problem areas are.  If you have any financial judgments against you, they will be listed here.  Your lates, and anything else on your report that needs to be fixed will be in this area.  This is one of the most critical areas of your credit report.

Reminder: When you order your credit reports, this does not mean that you will get credit scores also. You will have to order the credit scores in addition to the reports.

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