The Importance Of Knowing How To Read Your Credit Report

Knowing how to interpret your credit report is just as important as getting a copy of your report. In this post, let’s talk about credit report details and how you can take the right action based on the information you find in your report.

Free Credit Report for All

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, consumers are entitled to receive one free copy of a credit report each year by visiting It is also your right to dispute erroneous or irresponsible reporting. Hence, before applying for a loan or a credit card, the first step you should do is to check your personal credit report and make sure it’s free from errors.

Information in Your Credit Report

What does your report tell you? The consumer credit report is divided in four sections- the Personal Identity section, the payment history, the Public records section and the Inquiry section.

The first part of your report is where your personal details are listed such as your name, address, Social Security Number, phone numbers, Driver’s License number, etc. Carefully check if there are misspellings, missing letters or missing digits as even the slightest mistake can change your true identity.

The payment history section is where all your credit information is listed. This is where you can check your accounts such as credit cards, mortgage loans, car loans, insurance records. Here, the amount of your debts, your credit limit, as well as the payments you made, as well as outstanding balances or past due charges are listed in detail.

The third section is the Public Records section. This part of your report will only have remarks if you have existing tax liens, judgements, foreclosures, bankruptcy and other court judgments in the last seven years. It has been past seven years, you should request derogatory remarks to be removed from your credit report

Lastly, the Inquiries section contains details from loan companies who have made an inquiry about your credit report. Companies where you have send credit applications to will surely inquire about your report. Take note that if you see an unfamiliar inquiries from creditors that you did not apply to, get in touch with the creditors and verify the inquiry they made as this could indicate that someone may be trying to open an account using your identity.

Check your report for any errors, unauthorized charges, or false information. In case there are, notify the creditor involved and the credit bureau that issued your report. You can do this by sending a letter of dispute via registered post mail along with copies of documents that support your claim.


About the Author:

Suzy Vanstrusen is a credit analyst and a writer on the website She has been providing consumers with tips and wise information about credit repair as well as helping you out more with your bad credit loans.  Copyright © 2010

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