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Get To Know Your Credit Report

Posted on 2015-02-26 09:00:18

Happy woman with thumbs upDo you avoid your credit report like the plague because you think you won’t understand it anyway? You could be making a serious mistake. Whether you like it or not, others are using the information in your credit report to make decisions that affect your life, and it’s not just creditors. Landlords, employers, utility companies and insurance companies are among the other entities that routinely use credit reports. Get to know your credit report. The information is organized to make it easy to understand. Here are the four main categories of information on a credit report. Personal Information This information is intended to identity you and you alone. It includes your full name, your Social Security number, current and previous addresses, your date of birth and current and previous employers. Minor discrepancies in this section are not critical, but anything that could cause you to be mixed up with another individuals should be corrected.

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Credit History This is the heart of your credit report. It includes a record of your past and current obligations with creditors and lenders. Your payment history will indicate if you have been late on a payment. Your current balance on each account is usually noted along with the age of each account. You don’t want mistakes in your credit history! Inquiries Inquiries are a record of who has looked at your credit report. Hard inquiries result when you have initiated a credit application. Soft inquiries are for your information only. They have no impact on your credit score, and they are not seen by anyone else. Viewing your own credit report is a soft inquiry. Credit checks by current creditors are soft inquiries. Too many inquiries can have a negative impact on your credit score. Public Records Public records include bankruptcies, court judgments and tax liens. Most negative information must be removed after seven years, though some bankruptcies may stay on your credit report for ten years. Why Accuracy Matters The information on your credit report is used to calculate your credit score. Some creditors look no further than your credit score to make a yes/no decision about you. Mistakes on your credit report can affect those decisions or can cause you to pay a higher interest rate. Don’t be intimidated by your credit report. Dig in and check your report for accuracy. It could save you money.
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