Credit Report Questions and Answers
It is a written report (stored in computers comprised of the following information about your personal credit worthiness and debt repayment history. •Identification by name, address, spouse's name, date of birth, Social Security number, telephone number, place of employment, mother's maiden name, etc. •Credit inquiries - every time a subscriber (credit provider) runs a credit report on a consumer, a record of the file inquiry is made. It will remain on the file in most states for one or two years. This is of interest to creditors because it reveals recent credit activity. •Information in public records and collection accounts are also collected by (or reported) to these agencies.
Public records include courthouse records, bankruptcies, judgments, law suits, criminal records, etc. •Credit history - which includes the name and ID number of each subscriber who makes a report and your credit/debt repayment history. Also included is the date an account was opened, credit limits, current balance, monthly payment amount and payment frequency for the last 12-24 months. Records are dated with each request of entry. Other information includes, but is not limited to, consumer disputes, criminal convictions, individual liability or joint liability of accounts, co-maker or guarantor of payment on a certain account, secured accounts and charge offs (when a creditor has reported an unpaid balance as a loss).
•Consumer statements - a statement, not to exceed 100 words, regarding any account(s) an individual may wish to more accurately and completely explain, often very helpful to credit decisions. When is a credit file created? Usually when you make application for a loan or credit card or when a party who extended credit makes a report to their credit reporting service on your debt repayment. Who can legally look at my credit report? Credit reporting agency subscribers comprised of banks, other lenders, merchants extending credit, life insurance companies, companies on employment applications, rental leasing, security clearance, etc. may not access an individual's credit record unless disclosure is made that a credit report will be requested and in many instances must receive authorization from the consumer. This authorization is standard procedure when you sign an application in any of the above transactions. Read the fine print on the applications for more details. How often should I look at my credit report? If you are actively using credit, using one or more credit cards with monthly or bimonthly charge activity, have installment loans(s), vehicle lease, etc. review your credit file every nine to twelve months, otherwise every 15 months is adequate. What if I need help? Avoid any type of credit repair firm or service. Do it yourself instead.
It is easy and inexpensive.