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How To Understand Your Credit Report

By  Suzy Vanstrusen

What are the different parts of a credit report? What are the information each one has? Do you want to know the answers to these questions? First , you have to obtain a copy of your credit report in one of the three major credit bureaus in the country- (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion). Then read this article to have a better understanding of the 4 parts of a credit reports and what kind of information they must have.

Your Credit Report

Your credit report is divided into four categories- your personal information, credit history, public records and inquiries. Don't overlook checking if all details listed under your personal information are correct. For example, is your name displayed correctly? Is your Social Security Number correct? What about your address? Driver's license number? Employer? Date of birth? Contact numbers? Double-check if all the information are correct about you.

The next section would be your credit history. This is where all your accounts with different creditors are listed. It includes the date you opened your account, the type of credit you have, your existing balances, payments, unpaid dues, closed accounts, charged offs, and everything that has to do with credit.

In most cases, the public records section is left blank. All consumers want this section of their credit report empty because having something written there indicates a problem. Under this section, reports of tax liens, foreclosures and bankruptcies are noted. If you've just been through bankruptcy, it will be reflected here and will remain in your report for up to 7 years.

Lastly, we have the inquiries category. Every time you send an application for a loan, a credit card, or insurance- your prospective lender will be checking on your credit report. You will find all the inquiries done by lenders here. Too many inquiries can make a creditor curious as to why you submit too many applications to lenders at once. A lender may think that the most probable reason for such inquiries is declined applications. This is why too many inquiries can have a negative impact on your credit rating. However, inquiries that have been initiated by companies who want to offer you their services because of your excellent credit are of course, a great boost to your credit score.

As you can see, the most important part of your credit report that you must examine is your credit history. In case, you've found a mistake or inaccuracy, do not delay and call the credit bureau who issued your report at once. Next, prepare you dispute letter and send it to the credit bureau via registered mail. You'll also want to notify the creditor who reported the item you're disputing since they would be the one to confirm this. Remember, your creditor has the power to make the changes you requested. The credit bureau's job is just to put these information in your credit report. After submitting your dispute, you must wait up to 30 days for the investigation to complete.

Suzy Vanstrusen is a credit analyst and the writer of the site and has been providing consumers with tips and tricks in repairing your credit. Check the site for more free credit repair tips and credit repair services.

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