The three companies that keep track of your bill paying habits are Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Each company has a file on you as well as FICO score. Learn more about FICO scores and how they effect your credit rating. Credit reports are valuable to new creditors because they show your past financial patterns. It is important to know how to read credit reports.


Credit reports include:

  • Name

  • Social security number

  • Address

  • Bill-paying history

  • Total amount of debt you are in

  • A list of people that have made inquires about you

  • A list of who has not granted you credit

  • A list of your current debts

A lot of incorrect information shows up on many credit reports. The three big credit reporting agencies receive more than a billion pieces of credit information every money and produce more than 500 million credit reports every year. The chances are very high that mistakes on your report are negatively affecting your financial life.

Common errors on credit reports include:

  • Out dated information. Other than a bankruptcy (which can legally stay on your report for 10 years), any negative mark can only stay on your report for 7 years.

  • Inaccuracies. An incorrect mark showing an erroneous late payment, bankruptcy, repossession, etc.. must be dealt with immediately.

In order to correct your credit report, you must first get a copy of your credit report. Once you identify any errors, write a certified dispute letter to the agency in question. They must investigate and prove in truth that the mark is legitimate. If they can not, it must be eliminated. Make sure you save copies of every letter you send. It may take several attempts before the erroneous information is removed. Before applying for a loan, check out the personal loan tips section.

Effects of Having Bad Credit
Another important reason for getting a copy of your credit report before applying for a personal loan is that there may be accounts with late payments, others that are overdrawn, or other types of negatively impacting credit issues that can effect your chances of loan approval and/or the interest rates you receive. If this is the case, you may want to fix your credit up before you apply. Some of these issues are going to be easier to resolve than others. Learn more about what the hardest credit items to fix are.

Related Reading:
The Impact of Inquiries on Your Credit Score
Making Sure Your Credit Report is Accurate
Credit Report FAQ
Understanding How Credit Scores are Computed
Things That Hurt Your Credit Score
Credit Report Secrets
How Long Do Negative Marks Stay On My Credit Report?



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