Monday, June 30, 2008

Credit report hidden errors

Most people are aware that they can obtain a copy of their credit report for free - or for a minimal charge - from credit-reporting agencies like Experian and Equifax. However, many have no idea what’s on their credit report, how to read it, or how to correct erroneous information. This article reviews six items that appear on your credit report, and shows you how to fix any errors you may find.

Personal Information

Are your name, social security number, address and other personal information accurate? If not, contact your credit-reporting agency to correct the error. A lending company would hesitate before lending money to someone whose name or address is different on their loan application than on their credit report.

Information on Open Accounts

Your credit report details all of your current credit card accounts. It spells out your credit limits, whether you have been paying your bills on time, and if you hold any balances.

Pay particular attention to the accuracy of this information. Lenders use it to gauge whether they’ll lend you money.

Mortgage Information

Credit reports also detail information on outstanding mortgages; your account number, the date you signed your mortgage and whether you have been late with payments. The same information is available for any other outstanding loans or lines of credit from your financial institution.

It is vital that this information is correct. If a lender perceives you as having too much debt they are unlikely to approve you for another loan.

Collections/Negative Account Histories

Your credit report identifies whether you have any accounts that are in collection, and the status of those cases. Because this information can adversely impact your credit score and determine whether you are able to obtain a loan, it is important that it is correct.

Some credit-reporting agencies offer services to help you resolve these issues or advice on how to improve your credit score.

Judgments & Liens

Any judgment or award against you in a court of law will be included on your credit report. It will specify the case number, identify the plaintiff and the defendant, verify whether the case is open or closed and detail its resolution (i.e. the amount that has been awarded).

Should there be a lien on your property, your credit report details the case number, the court where the lien was established, the amount of the lien and whether the lien has been released. Make sure your credit report reflects if your lien has been satisfied or the judgement has been reduced or rescinded. Bankruptcies

Bankruptcy information is also available on your credit report and should be monitored carefully. The report will outline whether it is an individual or a joint bankruptcy and include the amount of assets and liabilities you have incurred.

Incorrect bankruptcy information (especially the date bankruptcy was declared) is a frequent source of problems for consumers looking to obtain loans.

Correct Erroneous Information

There is a space for comments under each section of your credit report. You might say that a lien was established due to a misunderstanding with a vendor, and that it was promptly satisfied. You could note that you have paid off outstanding balances listed on the report. You may even choose to briefly explain why you are in arrears on a certain debt payment.

When making credit report fixing and correcting factual inaccuracies such as your address or the spelling of your name, provide your credit agency with written proof as soon as possible. With appropriate documentation, your credit agency should make the necessary changes fairly quickly.

Bottom Line

Try to obtain your credit report at least once a year and review it for inaccuracies. If you spot errors have them fixed as soon as possible. You’ll be glad you did.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

No Cost Credit Report - How To Get It

Is it possible to get a no cost credit report? Yes, definitely. This is a good news to people who have serious credit score issues. Perhaps, you're wondering what your credit score is. Perhaps, you're considering taking out a loan for a new business or a new car, but you don't know if you would qualify. You really don't want to go through the hassle of applying for a loan just so you'd get rejected. You could avoid it by knowing your credit score before you even enter the doors of the credit agencies.

Getting it for free can be overwhelming when you don't know where to go and how to get it.

It is very important for consumers to check on their credit every year. They do not remain constant. You cannot expect to have the same credit score five years after you last checked. This could cost you your job or your house. Knowing your credit score is crucial. Luckily, it is now available to you at no cost at all. Indeed, you can get your totally free credit report online.

Every citizen is entitled to their no cost credit report every year. You can get them from the country's three major credit agencies. Before you can get it for $9.50, but these days, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are required to provide Americans their free reports once a year.

No, you will not get them automatically. You still have to file a request in order to get your copy. You can do this in three ways:

1. You can go directly to any trusted website, the only authorized consumer source online in order to access your no cost credit report.

2. You can get your free report via phone by calling (877) 322-8228

3. You can request via mail by sending in your request and mailing it to Annual Report Request Service.

Your report is the basis of your credit score. Once you have sent in your request, you can expect to receive it within a reasonable time. You'd get a summary of your payment history, balances, payment behavior and accounts listing. What you get is not automatically your credit score. However, credit agencies would base your credit score from your it. The better it is, the higher is your credit score. If it reflects bad accounts or worse, bankruptcy, you'd likely have bad credit score as well.

When you receive your free report, it is very important that you check for disputable accounts and items. Make sure that it is accurate. Otherwise, you would be saddled by these accounts. You will not be able to easily secure a loan. You could lose your home over an inaccurate reporting.

Nowadays, no cost credit report is available to everyone. It is your right to avail of them so you'd know how you stand financially. Your report could mean a huge difference between having a difficult or easy financial life.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

10 incredible facts about your credit report

1. I can pay credit repair companies to delete bad information on your credit report. A lot of credit repair companies use this false information to attempt to attract customers for their credit repair services. The truth is that if you have not paid your credit card bills on time, there is no credit repair company that has the ability to legally delete the negative information on your credit report. Bringing your payments in good standing is the only thing that will reduce the impact of your late payments, on your credit score.

2. My personal information on my credit report is accurate. Nothing is farther from the truth than this. Over 75% of credit reports have inaccurate information. The credit reporting agencies have human beings working for them, and they can make mistakes that can impact your credit score. Not only do they routinely make mistakes on your personal information, they can accidentally place derogatory information that does not belong to you on your credit report.

3. My bankruptcy filing will not be reported on my credit report after 7 years. It depends on what type of bankruptcy you filed. If you file a chapter 13 -- reorganization of debt -- then this kind of bankruptcy will not be reported on your credit report after 7 years. However if you filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy -- forgiveness of all debt -- your bankruptcy filing will stay on your record for 10 years.

4. I need special skills to repair my credit. This is not true. According to the Federal Trade Commission, whatever the credit repair companies can do for you, you can do for yourself. So there is no need to make monthly payments to credit repair companies who end up charging you hundreds of dollars just to do the same thing that you can do yourself.

5. My divorce decree will exonerate me from all the debt that my ex and I jointly owed. This is not true. Just because you got a divorce, and your ex kept the house, and they agreed to make the mortgage payments, does not mean that if they miss payments that your credit will not be affected. Your credit will be affected. A divorce decree does not mean you are no longer obligated to pay your mortgage. Your mortgage company may work out something with you if your ex spouse agrees to sign a document that states that they will be solely responsible for making the mortgage payments. Now if their credit score is weak and yours is stronger, the mortgage company may not honor your request to have your name removed from the mortgage documents.

6. I will reduce my credit score if I check my credit report. Not true again. You can check your credit report without affecting your credit score negatively.

7. If a bunch of car dealers or mortgage companies pull my credit report, my credit score will go down. This is not true. Credit reporting agencies understand that smart consumers will shop for the best deals and will not penalize you by taking points off your score, as long as these pulls occur within a 30 day period.

8. I can boost my credit score simply by canceling my credit cards. Creditors prefer to see two to three open credit cards that are active than credit cards that have been closed out. You are even better off having a credit card that you do not use than canceling the one you do have.

9. I have to pay a fee to obtain a copy of my credit report. Not true. Credit reporting agencies by law are required to provide you with a copy of your credit report once a year. So you can contact any of the credit reporting agencies and obtain a copy of your credit report free of charge.

10. My credit score is so low that there is no way I can repair it. This is not true. You can repair your credit and boost your credit score if you know how to go about it.

So if your credit is bad and you want to repair it you must first make sure that you are clear on what you can and cannot do with your credit report. Once you understand what you can and cannot do, it becomes much easier for you to start the process of repairing your credit.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

TransUnion offers free credit reports in wake of data suit

As part of the preliminary settlement of a class-action lawsuit, credit data agency TransUnion is offering free credit monitoring to anyone who had a credit card, loan or credit account between January 1987 and May 28, 2008.

The suit alleges that TransUnion sliced and diced consumer credit information and sold it in the form of marketing lists. TransUnion, which discontinued the accused arm, Performance Data, in 2001, has denied any wrongdoing. The company agreed to the settlement to avoid a protracted litigation process.

“We feel that this is the right thing to do, and it offers consumers the opportunity to monitor their credit and look at their scores,” said Clif O'Neal, a spokesperson for TransUnion. “We feel this is an educational offering. We realize that the privacy issue is more heightened in today's environment, so we feel these services are a benefit.”

In a bid to generate some positive publicity, TransUnion is advertising the offer in a nationwide campaign that starts in mid-June.

Consumers have two options in filing for the settlement: basic relief and enhanced relief. Basic relief provides free credit monitoring for six months, which includes daily credit report and credit score access. The service is worth $59.75, and consumers may also receive a cash payment if the $75 million settlement fund lasts. Enhanced relief offers nine months of credit monitoring, insurance scores and a mortgage simulator service —valued at $115.50.

To participate, consumers must register at

The nation's other major credit unions, Equifax and Experian, were tight-lipped on whether the settlement may affect their businesses or consumer marketing strategies. Equifax refused to comment.

Donald Girard, VP public affairs for Experian Americas, noted, “Experian's policy is to refrain from comment on legal matters involving other companies.”

He added, however, "Today's consumers understand more than ever the need to frequently interact with their credit reports to make certain they have a good understanding of the data contained in their file. As the data contained in their credit files changes often, consumers will always need to periodically check the file to keep themselves current on the status of the entries and to ensure that they will be able to achieve their credit objectives now and in the future."


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

5 steps to analyze your credit score

Credit history plays a vital role in building credit score. The exact way that your FICO score is calculated is a secret--it's proprietary knowledge of the Fair Isaac Corporation. Never mind but if you analyze your credit history you can get a good idea of why your credit score is in a particular range. So here’s are important tips to make it done:

Always remember to analyze the potential problems section on your credit report. These are the issues that can pull down 30 percent of your FICO score very easily. Potential problems can include bankruptcies, debts that have been given over to collection agencies and other delinquent accounts.

Keep a track of your accounts in good standing. If the companies holding these accounts have reported your current balances, this section is about 30 percent of your FICO score--the 30 percent based on your outstanding debt. Outstanding debt isn't necessarily bad. Debt is considered in terms of your ability to pay it back and how much credit you still have available.

Make a check over your history of account balances. This section combined with the potential problem section makes up as much as 35 percent of your FICO score because it tells lenders about your payment history.

Read carefully the listed requests for your credit history. This information can affect up to 10 percent of your FICO score, because your applications for new credit can drive down your score. However, only inquiries that you requested by asking for credit should be provided as part of your credit report for new creditors.

Try to know how your credit history contributes to your credit score. If you have a history of paying off your credit on time, limiting your problems and not abusing your credit, you will have a very strong credit score.

All these steps are followed by me first and then are recommended to you as there is a huge benefit after using them in real life.