There are three major credit reporting agencies that issue consumer credit reports and these are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Each agency works independently and does its own credit monitoring so the report you get from Experian may be a little different from the report you get from Equifax or TransUnion.
To ensure accurate reporting, it is recommended to order a copy of your report from all three bureaus. After receiving your credit report, it’s time to take a closer look. In this article, we discuss the basic details in your report and how it affects your personal rating.
Your Credit Report
A credit report has four categories- personal information, credit history, public records and inquiries. Make sure that all the details are correct. Even the smallest discrepancies in the spelling of your name can affect your overall rating. See to it that your resident address, employment history, date of birth and other personal info are accurate.
The next category in your report is credit history. Obviously, this is the section where all your accounts are recorded. It includes the type of account, the date it was opened, your credit, outstanding balances, charge offs, etc. When you open a credit card or a loan, details about it will be included in your credit history.
The next category is the public records. If you haven’t experienced foreclosure, repossession, tax liens, or bankruptcies, then this section of your report should be left blank. Take note that derogatory marks can only remain in your report for up to 7 years. After 7 years, those remarks should be omitted.
The last part of your report would be the inquiries section. Any inquiry made a creditor in response to your application will be reflected here. Thus, if you submitted multiple applications to different lending companies, lenders will know about those applications when they check your credit report. Too many inquiries give the impression that you are desperate about getting a loan or that you may be taking chances to get approved. This is why consumers are advised to avoid submitting applications to different lenders at once.
The most important part of your credit report is your credit history and this is where most errors often occur. Carefully examine if there are unauthorized charges in your account. If your report still shows unpaid charges that you know have been paid, you can ask for corrections by sending a dispute letter to the bureau that issued your report. Upon receiving your dispute letter, the bureau has 30 days to conduct an investigation and take appropriate action about the complaint.