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Credit Report! How important is it?

Check your Credit Report

If you’re considering applying for a major loan, such as a mortgage or car, it’s a good idea to check your credit report before you apply. It’s important to give yourself time to correct mistakes or make good on delinquent accounts.

If you find problems or if a creditor or lender discover them make sure you take the steps needed to have them corrected.

If you know that problems exist like paying previous or current loans late, have bounced checks, made late payments or any other problems, by being proactive you could reduce the amount of damage they will or have caused to your credit.

Remember, by law you can receive annually a copy of your credit report free from each of the main credit reporting agencies.

You can also receive a free credit report if you applied for a loan and were turned down. You can request a copy by writing to the correct credit bureau within 30 days of the rejection. You should include a copy of the declined loan application.

Secondly, you can also get a free credit report if you are unemployed, planning to apply for jobs in the next 60 days, receiving public welfare assistance or believe the credit file contains mistakes resulting from fraud.

Some important guidelines:

  • If you’re planning on applying for a mortgage loan you should check you credit report at least three to six months before you apply for the mortgage.

  • If you’re ready to purchase an auto check your credit and arrange financing wit your bank or credit union before you start shopping.

  • If you’re applying for a credit card check your report before you apply. You don’t want to have negative items to slow down your application.

The following information needs to be verified once you received your credit report:

  • Your name, or names if you are or were married

  • Social Security number

  • Date of birth

  • Addresses of places you’ve have lived

  • Names of places you’ve work

  • Pending accounts and accounts that have been closed

  • Nothing has been on the report longer than is allowed by law:

  • Bankruptcies must be taken off your credit history after 10 years.

  • Suits and judgments, tax liens, arrest records, and most other kinds of unfavorable information must be dropped after seven years.

  • Records of delinquent payments or other problems (i.e., make sure they aren’t mistakes

Fixing mistakes in your credit report.

Report credit mistakes quickly regardless how small. If you find a mistake, send a separate letter to the credit agency that is showing the mistake. Make sure you accurately explain the mistake in detail and enclose a copy of the credit report.

The error is investigated by the credit reporting agency with the creditor who supplied the data. If the creditor admits there is an error the credit reporting agency will remove it from your report.

If you disagree with the findings you can file a short statement explaining your side of the story which the credit reporting agency must include on your report.

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