Most people know it is important to check their credit report before making a big purchase like a home or perhaps a vehicle. Unless they are denied a credit card or personal loan, they never bother to find out what their report has to say about them. To make sure that your credit report gives an accurate picture of your creditworthiness, request and inspect your free credit report every year.
Who Checks Your Credit Report?
Any person or company who is going to have some type of financial arrangement with you can check your credit report. When you fill out different applications, there is often a credit report required. The most common requests for reports come from:
- Landlords or property management companies
- Credit card companies
- Insurance companies
- Loan companies
When you look over your credit report on a regular basis, there is less chance of identity theft, and you can correct any errors as soon as they occur. This will keep your report clean and you will be able to rent a home, have car and renter’s insurance, and get a loan when you need one.
Items that Affect Your Credit Rating
It is common knowledge that paying your bills late, or not at all, will give you a lower credit score. Other items that show up on your report and affect your overall creditworthiness include:
- Court judgments
- Tax liens
- Credit inquiries
If you owe a previous property owner, or utility company money, there could be judgments you did not know you had.
Checking for Accuracy
Identity theft and fraud is a very real aspect of the growth of technology. It is also possible that one of your accounts have an error. When you receive your credit report, go over each item on it. Check to make sure that any credit accounts are up-to-date and are not showing late payments if you made them on time. It is important that you check:
- Personal information – go over all the addresses listed, an error could mean there was fraudulent activity on the account
- Each account listed – make sure you know what they are for
- Inactive accounts – there should not be any new activity
- Inquiries – if you did not request credit from a company listed, find out who did
Report any errors to the credit reporting agency and get the contact information of the company that reported it. If you need help, feel free to contact us at http://www.360creditconsulting.com
Once reported, the credit reporting agency will flag the listing on your report and contact the company to tell them you are disputing their report. When you contact the company, be sure to have copies of payment records. If it is an account you did not open, there will usually be an address or phone number attached to the account that is not yours. All this information needs to go to the fraud department of the company for more research. The negative information is removed from your credit report immediately.
By law, the three main credit reporting companies, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax must provide you with a copy of your credit report annually, if you request it. This report will not include your credit score, but is sufficient for knowing your credit worthiness.
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