Credit reports are scary and confusing to say the least. Once you’ve made the commitment to review your report, you may or may not understand everything in it. However, it’s critical you understand your report so that you can make educated decisions regarding your finances. Below are the items you will find in your report and how to understand them.
Personal information. This section contains your identifying information, including your name and current and previous addresses. The main reason you need to review this section is to ensure everything is correct. If you recognize a mistake, it’s important you get it corrected as soon as possible.
Account information. This section will detail your account history, including credit card information. This part will include both your current and older accounts. Each account should have the name of the creditor, the date opened, type of account, balances, payment status, and payment history listed. While all of this information is likely overwhelming upon first glance, it’s important you review it closely to ensure that there are no errors. This is the section potential creditors will focus on.
Inquires. This section includes all lenders who have accessed your credit report within the last two years. It is important to note that your credit score can be affected by the number of inquires on your account. For example, if you apply for several loans within a short period of time, causing many voluntary inquiries on your credit report, future creditors will take this information into account when considering you for a new line of credit.
Public record information. Any items that are considered public record are included in your report. This includes foreclosures, bankruptcies, judgments, and liens.
Investigate thoroughly. Often times when reviewing your credit report, you will not recognize the names of the companies listed in the inquiry or accounts section. This is usually the result of the company you are associated with not being associated with the organization investigating your credit. If you don’t recognize a particular name, it’s worth investigating because it could be an early sign of identity theft. The good news is that complete contact information for the company should be listed on your credit report so that you can contact them directly.
By understanding clearly all of the items in your credit report, it can help you better determine your current financial standing. If you discover from your report that your score is suffering or if you are still unclear about the items in your report, let us at Ovation help you. There are various ways to help repair your credit and understand how to better position yourself for financial success.