Credit report
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Credit report

Is your credit report an accurate one ...

 
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There are many important documents in our lives, but when it comes to financial matters there are few documents as important as the credit report. The information contained in that credit report will be used by lenders and potential lenders to determine things like the interest rate you will be charged, the loan terms you will receive, and even if you will be approved at all.

With all this information at stake, it is vital for every consumer to know just what information is in his or her credit report. While many credit reports are 100% accurate, for many others viewing a credit report is a real eye opener. Credit reports may contain one or more inaccuracies that could be devastating to your financial life, so it is important to review your own report for accuracy and completeness.

These are some important tips for reviewing your credit report and making sure it is completely accurate and up to date.

  • Start by pulling a copy of your credit report, from all three major credit reporting agencies – TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. All consumers are now entitled to a free copy of all three credit reports once a year, so getting these reports should not cost you a dime.
  • When you receive the credit report, begin by making sure that the personal information contained at the top of the form is correct. Be sure that your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number and other identifying information is accurate. Mistakes in this section could cause a big problem, and any changes could be an indication of an attempt at identity theft.
  • Next, review the information about your credit card accounts, loan balances and other financial information. It is important to look carefully at all your accounts and their balances. If you notice any discrepancies, such as a paid off account that still shows as active, or an on time payment that was reported as overdue, be sure to report it to the credit reporting agency at once.
  • All inaccuracies should be reported immediately to the credit reporting agency. It is important to take this step in order to have these inaccurate items removed. If you have documentation, such as a cancelled check or a money order receipt, be sure to submit a copy with your dispute. This documentation will help get the problem resolved more quickly.
  • And last but not least, be sure to review the credit report one last time in order to honestly assess your financial condition and your current level of debt. This step can be a real eye opener, and quite a valuable exercise. It can be quite difficult to evaluate one’s financial condition with the eyes of an outsider, but an honest review of your credit report is one of the best ways to do so.
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