The Secrets To Reading Your Credit Report

Cases of identity theft and credit card fraud are alarming and we all want to be protected from them. The FTC advises all consumers to be more aware about the status of their credit report as this can make a big difference in keeping track of possible identity theft or fraud.

In this article, we’ll discuss some tips on how to read your credit report and the correct steps to fixing your credit report. Hopefully, this can bring more awareness to consumers about the importance of taking control and being responsible in protecting your credit.

What Your Credit Report Contains

Your credit report is divided in four sections- your personal identity, credit history, public records and inquiries. When you get a copy of your credit report, you should take the time to carefully review the details contained under each section. Nevertheless, pay particular attention to the personal identity, credit history and inquiries sections in your report. Here are the warning signs that should alert you of a possible fraud or identity theft.

Inquiries from creditors you did not apply to. Are there records of lenders or companies who are trying to pull out your credit report without your consent? Are they inquiring about your report when you can’t remember sending an application to them? If so, someone may be trying to open an account with these creditors in your name. Go ahead and call these companies and investigate on these inquiries.

Change of your home address or employment address. Typographical errors are common in credit reports. Misspellings or missing numbers or letters must be immediately corrected. However, you should be alarmed if there is a change in your home address or employment address in your credit report. If this is the case, someone may have called up your creditor and asked to change your personal information. Most identity thieves do this so that the lender would mail your billing statements to the new address to prevent you from being alerted about your account.

Strange activities in your old accounts. Do you have old accounts that you rarely use? If so, pay attention on these accounts and see if there are any changes or any activity made that you don’t remember.

Strange remarks in your public records section. This section should be empty unless you’ve had tax liens, foreclosure, bankruptcy or any court judgments. If there is remark in this section, you should take immediate action and notify the credit bureau who issued your report.

Past due charges. Are there charges in your credit cards that you don’t even remember spending? If you’ve been paying your credit card bills on time, someone else may be incurring purchases or charges without your consent. Prepare a dispute letter and send it both to the creditor involved and the three credit report bureaus (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion). Enclose copies of your payment receipts to your letter and other documents that can 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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