Do you know what is in your credit report? You don’t have to get collection calls and letters from lawyers for there to be potentially damaging information about you there. It’s something that you need to know about, because the people who make really big decisions about things like your car payment or a new job application, will decide your fate based on what your credit report says.
You may not be aware of what kind of information can go in a credit report. Some things that may surprise you; if you are having your credit checked for a job interview with a salary of more than 75k, there is no time limit for the information reported. A bankruptcy will follow you for 10 years. And criminal convictions will stay on your credit report forever. Keeping this kind of information in mind when you are faced with an emotional decision about money could save you a lot later.
Identity theft is a very serious crime and can leave you in real economic crisis. One of the ways to guard against it, or to lesson it’s impact is to know what is in your credit report. If you see applications for loans and credit that you know nothing about, it’s a good sign that someone is trying to steal your good credit name, and you can do something about it
The things that are chronicled in your credit report aren’t random things that you have no control over, you can impact what this story tells.
If you haven’t gotten a credit report in a while, you are probably due for a free copy. Thanks to the Fair Credit reporting act, you have a right to see what is in in your credit history. Try www.annualcreditreport.com , you are able to receive a report from each the nationwide credit reporting companies one every 12 months. That is Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You may be surprised to know that the information in these reports can differ, and it’s important to see what each report says and if they have differing information. The credit reporting system is a voluntary one, creditors subscribe to any agency that they want. One report doesn’t tell you all about your credit-worthiness.
Stagger receiving reports so that you have about 4 months in between agency reports. This is one way to discover activity related to identity theft the fastest and can give you the time to stop it before you are economically crippled by its effect.
Once you have a copy, you need to go through it and do your best to understand what it all means. Reading a credit report will require you to do some research on your own. There are four main sections to a credit report; identifying information, public records, credit history, and inquires. Each has its own set of issues regarding your credit rating. If you need a good tutorial on your credit report, this is a good place to start; http://www.idtheftcenter.org/artman2/publish/v_fact_sheets/Fact_Sheet_128_How_to_read_your_credit_report.shtml.
If you have found information that you feel is incorrect, you can request that the reporting agency change or remove that information.
A bad credit rating that you discover before you need to use it for something can give you a chance to develop a plan to increase your credit score. The payoff is applying for a loan with more confidence about the outcome. A credit score of 901 or more is considered Grade A, an excellent risk and low interest. Below 600 is an F and you may not qualify. Each time you advance a grade, things get cheaper and easier.
With a little work, and some guidance from a reputable credit counseling agency, you can move your credit score into a better category, and save yourself thousands of dollars in fees and interest.