How to Read and Interpret Sections of Your Credit Report

inancial experts recommend ordering a copy of your credit report from three major credit bureaus at least twice a year. Interpreting your credit report need not be difficult. In this article, let’s discuss the details contained under each section of your report.

Identifying Information

This is the first section or heading in a credit report. It contains personal identification of the person who owns the report.  Your name, home address, Social Security Number, driver’s  license number, phone numbers, and other personal information.

When checking your report, make sure that all the details under this section are accurate. A single error in your Social Security Number or Driver’s License Number, or a discrepancy with your name can make you a different person.

This is the part where your finance transactions with lenders are recorded. When you open a credit card account or when you apply for a loan, your activities as a borrower will be reflected in this section. Details such as the name of the lending company or credit card company, your account number, the type of account you opened, the opening date, credit limit, charges, balances, status of your account, your payments, date of payments, etc.

Some people who have balances that are long past due may be passed on to a Collection Agency. If you have such debts, it will be listed under the Collection Accounts section. When examining your report, see to it that all charges in each of your accounts are correct. If you have debts that you know have been paid off yet are still reflecting in your report, call the creditor involved right away to settle the matter.

Public Records Section

The Public Records section is where records of bankruptcy, judgments, tax liens, overdue child support, collections counts, can be found. As much as possible, you want to keep this section clean from any negative remarks. Remember that negative remarks can only remain in your report for up to seven years. After that span of time, you can request the bureaus to erase it from your history.

The Inquiry Section

When applying for any type of credit, a lender will inquire your report to check your background and credit-worthiness. All credit inquiries will be reflected under this section. This is why consumers are discouraged to submit multiple applications to different lending companies at one time. Prospective lenders can see that you are applying for credit from other lending companies. That can immediately send out a negative impression. Furthermore, they will be able to see if any of your applications have been declined by other lenders.

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