Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.
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Checking Your Credit Report - What Are You Looking For?

Experts say that you should check your credit report at least once a year. Do you know what you’re looking for when you check yours?

Your credit report won’t read like an epic novel, especially if you’ve had numerous accounts over several years. Reading your credit report might confusing at first and possibly a little boring. But you don’t have to read it all at once. Go over a few pages at a time, keeping an eye out for a few things as you read through.

Look for signs of credit card fraud or identity theft.

This is the primary reason the government passed the law granting consumers a free credit report every year – so we could check detect fraud and identity theft earlier. As you look through your credit report, look for accounts that aren’t yours including credit cards, loans, and debt collections.

Suspicious accounts might have landed on your credit report erroneously or they could actually be fraudulent accounts. Dispute with the credit bureau and follow up with the bank or collection agency if necessary.

You can place a fraud alert or security freeze on your credit report if you believe you may be at risk for fraud or identity theft in the future.

Spot errors made by creditors and other businesses

Even the smallest credit report errors can make a big difference in your credit card and loan applications. An inaccurately-reported late payment could lead to a higher interest rate or worse delinquency errors might lead to denial.

Look through your credit report, several times if necessary, to spot any errors that might appear. You have the right to dispute credit report errors with the credit bureau that provided the inaccurate report. If your dispute with the bureau is unsuccessful, you also have the right to follow up with the creditor or other business that provided the inaccuracy to the credit bureau.

Identify opportunities to improve your credit.

Your credit report will give you some insight into what’s hurting your credit. Examples of negative information include late payments and delinquent balances, collections, high balances, and several recent inquiries to your credit history.

If you have high balances, you can improve your credit by paying them down. Or, if you have past due balances, paying them off can help turn the situation around. You might overcome delinquencies by adding mew positive payment information.

Find debts that you should repay.

When you’re putting together a debt repayment plan, you can use your credit report to put together a list of all your debts and a recent balance. Because some creditors may not report to the credit bureaus, you should consult recent bills or your checking about statement to fill in the gaps.

Ordering Your Credit Report

Your free annual credit report is available through AnnualCreditReport.com. You may see or hear about other free credit report offers on or off the internet, but these are often scams. If you’re asked for your credit card number to get a free credit report, odds are the company is looking for a way to charge you later.

If you’ve already ordered your free credit reports for this year, you can also purchase your reports through the credit bureaus Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Three-in-one credit reports cost more, but let you compare all three credit reports side-by-side.
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Monday, 19 August 2019

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