Obtaining Your Credit Report
For those who struggle to make ends meet, a credit report rarely brings good news. Nevertheless, it is important to obtain a copy and go through it with a fine comb. It may not be a pleasant read, but it’s certainly essential.
Credit Reports are Essential for Sound Financial Management
Credit reports present important information on an individual’s monetary affairs. They record their debts, loan payment history, credit card spending, filings for bankruptcy, and many other financial details. While each bank and credit card company sends account statements to customers, the credit report offers a unique general view of their financial affairs.
A look through a credit report shows issues that require immediate corrective action. For example, a loan with payments long overdue could push a creditor to start legal proceedings. The credit report provides a wakeup call for the debtor to approach the lender to make new repayment arrangements. Through these steps, they save themselves the pain and expense of a court case.
Detect Errors or Suspicious Activity
Scrutiny of credit reports can also reveal mistakes. These errors should be rare, but they can occur. Sometimes a lender forgets to record one or more loan repayments, so the report compiler receives inaccurate data. It’s also possible that the correct data was sent, but the compiler made an error entering the information.
Careful data inspection may also show suspicious payments on a certain credit card, or money withdrawals the account holder can’t remember making. In the most extreme case, the credit report could show a fraudulent account opened in your name. These identity theft crimes seem to be on the increase. Detailed financial records included in credit reports help people discover if they are identity theft victims.
The Financial Image Credit Reports Project
It is also valuable to stay well-informed on credit reports, because bad credit status influences decisions of financial institutions, landlords, and employers. From their perspective, credit reports shed light on an individual’s financial competence. They might also indicate reliability and trustworthiness. For these reasons, it helps to know, in advance, if the credit report creates a good impression. Now it becomes easy to see why a loan was refused, or the lender set such harsh loan terms. Proven errors in a credit report entitle the disappointed loan applicant or job seeker to ask for a review.
Annual Credit Reports for Free
American law requires Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion to supply free, annual credit reports. All three reports can be sent at the same time, or spaced out according to individual preference. Some prefer reviewing and comparing all reports at the same time, but spreading them out has many advantages. Personal finances throughout a year have many ups and downs. The opportunity to view a credit report every four months helps detect problems at an early stage. It is only this early detection and resolution that can prevent most major losses.
Obtaining free credit reports couldn’t be easier. They can be ordered online, by phone, and by mail. AnnualCreditReport.com includes a detailed explanation of how to order credit reports. As the website acknowledges, in rare situations, a free credit report request is denied. This could happen if the applicant forgot to enter essential information or entered personal details incorrectly. As soon as the credit agency receives the correct information, they will send the report.