In much the same way that a resume displays your work experience to a prospective employer, a credit report provides prospective creditors (and in some cases employers and insurers too) with a detailed picture of your credit history. And like a resume, your credit report can influence whether you will receive what you are applying for. Ideally, your credit report is an accurate, up-to-date reflection of your credit history. However, since we don't live in an ideal world, there are many reasons that your credit report could contain inaccuracies that might prevent you from receiving the credit you deserve. The good news is you can take action to keep your report accurate. Here are the top five reasons why you should make a practice of regularly reviewing your credit report:
Inaccuracies & Mixed Credit Files
Many inaccuracies on a credit report can be the result of simple human error, and are therefore are not difficult to dispute. Of course, if you don't order your credit report, you might never know about it. Whether the inaccuracies relate to payments not credited, late payments, or data mixed in from the credit file of someone else with a name similar to yours, you will want to contact the credit bureau to dispute inaccurate information promptly.
One of the most important elements of credit is a demonstrated history of on time payments. Once you send the check though, anything can happen--a delay in the payment being received can kick you over to a 30-day delinquency. If you call your creditor and explain the situation, they might adjust the information. Of course, if you don't read your credit report, you won't necessarily know which payments are being received and reported properly.
This issue alone is reason to order your credit report immediately. Identity theft is an insidious crime, involving a thief who assumes your name to open new accounts, divert your card statements to another address, and run up all sorts of bad debt without you ever knowing about it until collectors come calling. Over time, identity theft could jeopardize your ability to obtain further credit. The best way to catch a thief who is using your name is by getting a copy of your credit report, which will show you if there are accounts listed you know you haven't opened. For example, if a thief has intercepted a pre-approved credit card offer in your name and sent it in with a change of address, your credit report will include the account.
If you're shopping around for a loan or more credit, you should know that when creditors check your credit, it places an inquiry on your credit report. Inquiries can add up, which is often interpreted as a negative by creditors. For this reason, too many inquiries can actually make getting credit more difficult. Moreover, if you didn't authorize someone to look at your credit report and they did, they may have broken the law.
Credit Fraud--Unauthorized Charges
Credit fraud involves the theft of your credit card or account number to make unauthorized charges to your account. Though consumers are protected financially from this abuse, other creditors may take note of all this activity and decide to raise your interest rates or refuse to grant you a loan. Ordering your credit report will help you catch new activity on accounts that you haven't been using, or may have closed. When it comes to managing your credit worthiness, your credit report is your best resource. Ordering your credit report gives you the opportunity to manage your credit wisely today, while planning your credit strategy for achieving future goals--a credit-savvy move every consumer should make!
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How credit report repair can help you!
Bad credit is not forever! Bad credit can be fixed! Most credit listings lose status after five years (late payments for example) and will completely disappear from your credit report after seven years! Many lenders will remove recent late payment listings with good cause (new address, returned mail, etc...) Always keep copies of bills you've paid and record dates of payment. You may have credit listings that are incorrect or don't belong to you! A change in circumstance like a divorce or loss of a long term job can cause the most responsible of people too get behind on their bills. Bad credit does not mean you're a bad person! Get informed. Research and learn about your credit. Save money on your next major purchase by getting started on credit repair today! Credit repair can raise your credit score! Check your credit report frequently. If you notice a late payment on your credit report that shouldn't be there write to your lender, ask them to remove the listing or give you a written reason why they feel it should remain. You can then dispute the listing if you don't agree. Many lenders respect people that follow through! If you haven't reviewed your credit report recently, order a free online credit report now from ConsumerInfo.com®
Bankruptcy and legal issues like liens and judgments stay on your credit report for ten years. It is your responsibility to make sure listings concerning those issues are accurate. If you feel a listing is not correct you can either address a letter to the credit bureau or the lender. You can clean up your report by ordering it and disputing the inaccuracies. Many people prefer to use a credit repair kits or services to correct incorrect listings on their credit reports. Check out Credit Repair, the systems they use can simplify credit repair for the novice and may even cause a more favorable looking report. Improve your FICO credit score!