Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Keep focusing on your credit report

You should make it a routine to review consumer credit report because it helps in updating credit score history.

This factual snapshot of your credit payment history contains every major transaction you have made, and it even serves as your voucher with businesses -- a negative report means you won't get the loan or might pay higher rates than those with a more positive report.

Your report can also be evaluated by companies considering hiring you for a job, renting you a residence and selling you insurance.

With identity-theft crimes on the rise and high credit scores needed to secure good interest rates, it's important to know what your report is telling others about your spending habits.

Cindy Tesch, the community outreach director at Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the CSRA, urges consumers to check their credit reports with each of the three reporting bureaus at least once a year.

These agencies, or "collection houses," store your financial data: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Everyone is allowed one free credit report from each of the credit reporting agencies every 12 months under a law signed in 2005 by President Bush.