A complete understanding of your credit report is the
most important financial tool you will ever own!
Reasons To Get Your Credit Reports
1. Never Seen It or Haven't Seen Your
Credit Report in Years?
you have never seen a copy your credit report, you definitely
should order a 3-in-1 credit report, which includes
your credit report from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
Why a 3-in-1 credit report? The three national credit
bureaus do not communicate with each other, so you actually
have three credit histories. It is up to you to make
sure that your credit histories are accurate, so you
should get all three of your credit reports.
2. Mistakes DO Happen
you know who has had access to your credit report information?
Do you know if the information they saw is accurate?
According to a study by U.S. PIRG, 70 percent of the
credit reports have errors of some kind and 29 percent
contained serious errors like false delinquencies and
judgements that don't belong to the consumer.
3. You are applying for a credit card
you are considering applying for a car loan, bank loan,
or credit card, you will want to see your credit report
and make sure all information is accurate. Since each
inquiry can count against your credit rating, make sure
that your application isn't rejected based on mistakes
in the credit report.
4. Co-Signed a Loan
you have co-signed a loan for a family member or friend,
their payment record will also appear on your credit
report. Make sure you know how your credit is affected.
you start shopping for mortgage, take a look at your
credit report before the mortgage companies do.
you are going to be renting an apartment, especially
in a competitive market, it is wise to have a recent
copy of your credit report with you while apartment
hunting. Most apartment owners or managers will want
to check your credit report before offering you a lease.
credit may be combined with your spouse, and there may
be certain transactions that you may not be aware of.
If you get a divorce, notify the three major credit-reporting
agencies that your status has changed to "single."
Provide them with new addresses for both you and your
ex-spouse. Specify that all accounts should henceforth
be reported separately. Otherwise, transactions may
be reported on the wrong spouse's account. The records
could get tangled confused, especially if one of you
were to remarry. Occasionally, one or both spouses may
experience credit problems during the separation period
preceding the final divorce, especially if marital assets
are frozen during settlement negotiations. You will
need a copy of your credit report to review with your
attorney so that you can accurately evaluate how your
divorce will affect you financially.
8. Fraud Monitoring
may be committing fraud by using your identity and applying
for credit in your name. Credit reporting companies
do not have to inform you of suspect items, so it's
up to you to be vigilant about your credit. You should
regularly check your credit report to make sure that
all new inquiries and accounts are not fraudulent. Make
sure all information is accurate and if you suspect
fraud, contact your credit reporting agency and ask
that they put a fraud alert on your file.
you have your own business, it is imperative that you
regularly monitor your credit condition. The stronger
your credit, the greater your ability to secure the
financing you need to properly build and maintain your
10. Financial Planning
you use a financial advisor, it is recommended that
you check your credit report at least once a year and
review it with him/her so your financial condition can
be accurately assessed.
What is in a credit report?
The following types of information are found in your credit
1. Identifying information: includes your name, nicknames, current and previous addresses,
Social Security number, date of birth, and current and
previous employers. This information comes from any
credit application you have completed, and its accuracy
depends on your filling out forms clearly, completely
and consistently each time you apply for credit.
2. Credit information: includes specific information about each account including
the date opened, credit limit or loan amount, balance,
monthly payment and payment pattern during the past
several years. The report also states whether anyone
else besides you (i.e. a spouse or cosigner) is responsible
for paying the account. This information comes from
companies that do business with you.
3. Public record information: includes federal district bankruptcy records; state and
county court records, tax liens and monetary judgments;
and, in some states, overdue child support payments.
This information comes from public records.
4. Inquiries: includes the names of those who have obtained a copy
of your credit report for any reason. This information
comes from the credit reporting agency, and it remains
available for as long as two years, as per federal law.
like surprises? Find out what lenders see when they
access your report BEFORE you apply for a loan. Click
here for your comprehensive credit report.
While there are a number of good reasons to order, review
and master the details of your credit report, one primary
truth cannot be avoided:
Your credit report is your electronic
You can't escape it. It will always
precede you. It represents your reputation in the personal
financial community. If it is solid, it can be one of
your best assets. If it is damaged, it can be one of your
The sad truth is that the majority
of Americans have never seen their credit reports, though
their credit profile affects practically every aspect
of their financial lives. Even more disturbing is that
of those who have seen their credit reports, a significant
number donít understand what they are reading.
Credit is not something to be feared,
but rather a tool to build financial security. It is simply
a different kind of investment portfolio.
As more and more Americans put
their funds into the stock and bond markets, it is not
uncommon to see people hunched over the morning newspaper,
watching one of the financial news networks, surfing the
net checking out their portfolios or doing research, or
pouring over their monthly investment statements. Unfortunately,
few, if any, people realize that were they to dedicate
just a fraction of the time they spend reviewing their
investments to working on the development of a credit
portfolio, they would dramatically enhance their ability
to build the type of financial security they are striving
Think of your credit report as
the equivalent of an investment statement. But just as
you canít know your entire financial picture without reviewing
statements from all of your investment accounts, you will
not see your entire credit picture unless you read a report
from each of three (3) major credit reporting agencies
(Experian, Trans Union and Equifax). Because just as Merrill
Lynch doesnít share your account information with Etrade
or Schwab, none of the three (3) national reporting agencies
share information with each other. Therefore, simply seeing
one, or two, credit reports may not give you the entire
There is, however, a way to see
your entire credit profile as reported by all three (3)
bureaus one (1) report. It is known as a 3-bureau, or
triple-merged, credit report. And, since it reports each
credit account you have and indicates which credit bureaus
report which accounts, you can finally see who knows what
like surprises? Find out what lenders see when they access
your report BEFORE you apply for a loan. Click here for
your comprehensive credit report.
FREE CREDIT REPORTS:
"You can receive a free personal
(not business) credit report by simply requesting it in
writing with the form below. Be sure to attach the information
Personal Request Forms
Experian (formerly TRW)
P.O. Box 949
Allen, TX 75013
I am requesting a free credit report. Please find enclosed
pertinent information, and if there are any questions,
please contact me at:
Residence (past 5 years)
Please find enclosed items:
Year of birth
Verification / copy driver license
Certification / copy of major billing statement.
Signature at bottom of request. Thank you....
Signature: _____________________ Date:________
There are 3-4 main sources for
this information, including Equifax, Experian and Trans
Union and TRW. Here are a few phone numbers as well.
CSC CREDIT 1-800-759-5979
Here are the latest addresses available for the three
main credit services.
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
Experian (formerly TRW)
P.O. Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013-2104
Customer Disclosure Center
P.O. Box 390
Springfield, PA 19064-0390