Your credit report is a snapshot of everything you have ever done in your life that has involved your use of credit. It is a very important that you monitor your credit report regularly to make sure there aren’t any inconsistencies or mistakes that could adversely affect your future applications for credit.
There are three credit reporting agencies that compile your credit information into one easy to read report. Not all companies report to all three bureaus and they are not required to report to any of them. However, you will find that many companies will go ahead and report credit transactions to at least one of the three companies.
The three credit reporting agencies are: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. No one company is any ìbetterî than the other. They all have different ways of making credit reports, but they all generally operate in the same way. You can find them easily on the web at: www.experian.com, www.equifax.com, and www.transunion.com.
The FACT Act was passed in 1997 and provided one free credit report each year for anyone who requests one. Although it’s a good idea to get a copy of all three reports, you will only get one for free. You can get the other two by paying a small fee ñ usually in the $15 to $20 range.
To get your free credit report, you can go to either www.freecreditreport.com or www.annualcreditreport.com. You will have to enter in your personal information and then your credit report will appear directly on your computer. You can then print it out and check it for accuracy.
We can’t stress enough that you should check over your credit report on a regular basis. Often, mistakes can be made and you can take steps to removing that information so that you won’t be denied credit solely because an error was made. The credit reporting companies are often eager to work with you to repair mistakes. You will need to contact them with proof of the inaccuracy and it will be removed.
Since the decision to offer you credit whether it be for a credit card, a home loan, or a car loan is made solely on the information contained in your credit report, you should strive to keep your credit record clean and free from errors. Your credit score is determined by the information on your credit report as well and you want your credit score to be as high as it possibly can be so you can get loans for what you need or want. Just don’t get into trouble with credit. Then your credit report won’t appear so good to a potential lender.