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Thursday, February 12, 2009

What is in a Credit Report?

By Rob Kosberg

If you have recently been denied credit or plan to apply for credit soon, it would be wise to obtain your credit report. You know that it is a document that is the foundation of a decision on whether you will receive credit.

You need to know that there are actually three major credit reporting agencies. These are: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. It is possible to receive a free copy of the report from each agency once a year. See freeannualcreditreport.com for information on how to obtain the three copies. You need all three because differences may be apparent.

The reports will have several sections. Know that there will not be personal private information about your race, worth, or salary included. There will be the usual identifying such as name, address, social security number in the first section.

There will be a section related to any credit lines. These credit lines will include loans, mortgages, credit cards, gas and department store cards. It will give the date each credit line was opened, credit limits, payment history (including late payments), balances, overdrawn bank accounts, and unpaid child support.

Credit reporting agencies also receive information from the court system. This section will have a listing of bankruptcies, liens, judgments, divorce.

Any time you apply for a loan or credit card there will be an inquiry made to a credit reporting agency. Your credit report will include not only these inquiries but inquiries by you. Credit inquiries remain for 2 years.

It is to your benefit if your credit report is positive. However, any negative information will remain on the report for 7 years. A bankruptcy is on your credit report for 10 years.

It is highly recommended that we obtain and seriously review our credit reports to be aware of differences on each report, locate any and all errors. It is up to each individual to monitor his/her own credit profile, fix errors, and repair personal credit.

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