Your Credit report : 5 myths busted

Cynthia Stewart
May 7, 2007
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The credit report in United States is a document prepared by each of the three main credit reporting agencies Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. This report is absolutely essential to get any kind of loan from banks and other agencies. The credit report determines your credit score which is an indication of your financial health. A lot of misconceptions prevail regarding the credit report and credit score. In this article we try to clear some of these misconceptions.

1. The credit reporting agencies make random guesses for credit score

The credit reporting agencies do not arbitrarily decide on your credit score. In fact every loan, mortgage or credit card you take is closely monitored by the financial institution that provides it. The way you tackle your debt, repayment and interest rates is tracked by the company and sent to the credit rating agencies to calculate your credit score. The software used to calculate your credit score is FICO (Fair Issacs Corporation) after the people who designed it. It is a fairly complicated piece of software that decides on your credit score based on established parameters.

2. The credit reporting agencies are biased

No, not at all. No consideration whatsoever is given to factors like race, gender, nationality, marital status, or religion. It is your finances that matter. The feedback received by credit rating agencies from your banks, lenders etc. are the only things that matter. The idea is to establish your credit trustworthiness.

3. I have to pay heavy fees to credit reporting agencies to get my credit report

This is grossly untrue as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) makes it mandatory for each of the credit reporting agencies to send a free copy of your credit report on your request each year. So, you can have a copy of your credit report absolutely free of cost once a year. If you require more than that you have to pay a small fee to the respective credit reporting agency. In fact, it is advised that you regularly check your credit report. It is indeed one of the best financial practices.

4. My credit report is available to public

Nothing could be more incorrect than this fact. Your credit report is Top Secret information. The lending institutions when they are in a process of giving you some loan can get a glimpse at it and that too with your permission.

5. The credit report prepared by the agencies is final and can't be altered

If you find any errors in your credit report, you can report it to the credit bureau and get it investigated. If there are errors, your credit report will be corrected and your credit score will reflect the corrections. To make sure that your credit score represents your true credit history it is advised that you regularly check your credit report and scrutinize it correctly. If any discrepancies are noted, immediately contact the issuing agency and get it corrected.

By debunking these misconceptions regarding the credit report a person can get more focused on maintaining a good credit score and healthy financial state.