Credit Report: Order it, View it, Understand it, Improve it

Credit Report awareness is getting to be essential to personal finance because your personal credit report has become the most important document in your financial life. It tells those wishing to do business with you, those who want to employ you, and those from whom you'd like to rent or borrow, whether or not you can be trusted. It is the way that your good name, your reputation, and your integrity is determined in this high-tech age of impersonal transactions.

Here at One Stop Credit Report, we provide the online resources for you to order and see your personal credit report, understand it, and improve it.

Experian, Equifax, Trans Union, and TRW

Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union are the three national credit reporting agencies.  (TRW credit report services were sold to a new company, Experian, in 1996.) Separately, the three major bureaus maintain huge databases of millions of consumers. If you ever had a credit card or you've ever taken out a loan, you are likely to be in their files. Your account and payment information, along with name, age, employment, and current address information, is sent to the three national credit repositories on a regular basis by many of the companies and financial institutions that have granted  you credit. The credit reporting agencies supplement this data with public record information: court judgements, liens, foreclosures, and bankruptcy filings.

Bureau Subscribers

Credit report data is of interest to many individuals, companies, and financial institutions that would like to see it.  The three credit reporting agencies (also known as credit bureaus) only allow their paying subscribers to obtain the data, and only for  permissible purposes as identified in the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The information about you is presented to the bureau subscriber in the form of what is commonly called a credit report.

Credit Reports

Credit reports from Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union can have the following sections:

  • Identification information (Name, address, former address, employment, year of birth, aliases, social security number, etc.)
  • Tradelines: Your open and closed revolving, installment, and mortgage accounts, with balances, credit limits, and payment history.
  • Inquiries: A list of other subscribers that requested your credit report over the past two years, with dates.
  • Public Records: As collected from the courts.
  • Consumer statement: A few sentences to tell your side of the story, if a disputed entry on the report was not resolved to your satisfaction.
  • Fraud alerts: In the event of suspected identity theft or fraud.

A credit score can also be included, at the request of the bureau subscriber. The score measures predicted creditworthiness as a number, based on all the relevant factors in the credit report.

You have the right to see your Credit Report

You are guaranteed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the right to see what is in your own credit report. Consumer experts recommend that you check your own credit on a regular basis. Here are just a few reasons...

  • Detect fraud or identity theft
    If someone else is using your name and/or social security number to apply for credit, or has acquired one of your accounts and changed the mailing address, this activity is likely to appear on your credit report before it may be noticed elsewhere.
  • Embark on a financial and credit improvement program
    A credit report is a good starting point when evaluating your overall financial picture. You'll see charge accounts (some of which you may have forgotten or thought were closed,) credit limits, monthly obligations (where reported,) and more.
  • Prepare for a home or auto loan
    The better your credit, the better chance you have for the best terms. You want to make sure your credit report is right. Errors can happen, and it takes time to get them corrected.
  • Save Time
    For a major loan application, you'll be asked to list your monthly obligations. A credit report saves time in gathering the information. (By the way, to a large degree, a credit report is what your lender will be using to verify your claims about what you owe.) 
  • Prepare for employment or apartment leasing
    If data in your credit report is inconsistent with your statements on a job or rental application, it could result in a rejection, even if your credit appears to be good. By the time you clarify the matter, job or rental could be gone!
Regard your good name as the richest jewel you can possibly be possessed of - for credit is like fire; when once you have kindled it you may easily preserve it, but if you once extinguish it, you will find it an arduous task to rekindle it again.   Socrates

To see your personal credit report for the first time can be an eye-opening experience. You probably already have a feeling about whether your credit is good or bad. Your credit report tells you exactly.

Would you like to know what is being said about you? Click here to see your credit report now!

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