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How to Read Your Credit Report



  Credit Report

Do you know what's in your credit report?


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Understanding your credit report is an important part of financial literacy. The report not only prescribes whether you can get a credit card or a car loan
can it also play a role in taking a job or having a place to call home . Now that credit reporting agencies make these available every week for free because of the coronavirus pandemic there is little reason not to review yours to understand where you are financially and whether you are victim of fraud .

Here's a guide to what's in your credit report and what to look out for.

Personal Information

This section is self-explanatory and is also one of the most important parts of your credit report. Here you can see your social security number, date of birth, name, employment details and addresses, both previous and current. It is important to ensure that these details are correct.

The first page of an example of an Experian credit report.


Experian

Credit Account Information

Here is the credit portion of the credit report. The accounts under your name, including credit cards, loans, and other revolving lines of credit, are listed here. Each entry must contain the following:

  • Account Type.
  • Date opened.
  • Credit limit or loan amount.
  • Current Balance.
  • Account Status.
  • Payment History.

At Review In this section, you want to verify that each listed account is yours. If there is anything that is not yours, you must file a dispute with the agency that provided the report.

In addition to confirming that the accounts are legitimate, you also want to confirm that the information is correct. Each account entry shows whether you have made a payment arrears, and the more arrears there are, the more it will negatively affect your credit score .

This part of the report will also show closed accounts. Most credit data remains on a credit report for seven years.

Inquiry Information

If a bank, brokerage or employer requests a copy of your credit report, often referred to as a "hard pull", the question is stated here. Having an excessive number of such requests can negatively affect your credit score.

There are also promotional requests, either & # 39; soft pulls & # 39;, usually conducted by financial institutions willing to offer a pre-approved line of credit, or by credit security companies checking your data as part of their services . These organizations request some information from the credit card company, but do not receive all the data from the credit report. This type of drawing does not affect a credit score like the hard surveys.

Card issuers will also periodically check your credit information for various reasons, such as increasing or decreasing your credit limit . Like the soft pulls, these account rating questions don't reduce a credit score.

Bankruptcy and Public Records

If you have filed for bankruptcy, details are included in this section, including type of bankruptcy, filing date, court and how much you are liable for.

Other public records, such as court rulings against you, also appear here. Listed details may include the company that brought the lawsuit, how much it was for, the court where the lawsuit was filed, and the decision on the case.

Debt Accounts

A company can transfer an account to a debt collection agency over time if no payments are made. This includes creditors, but also doctors, hospitals, cable companies and mobile service providers. In some cases, the information from the collection agency is listed here, and not that of the original company that owed the money. Like the credit account information, it is important to verify the details in this section.

Click on the example of an Experian report below to see what a full credit report looks like.


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