15 facts everyone must know about credit reports

Cynthia Stewart
May 10, 2007
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  1. Equifax, Experian and TransUnion: These three credit reporting agencies determine the credit worthiness of people in USA by making credit ratings for them.
  2. Every person can receive one copy of credit report from each of the these credit reporting agencies absolutely free of cost.
  3. To obtain free credit reports, a person needs to log in to the website www.annualcreditreport.com. This is the federal law authorized source to get a free annual credit report.
  4. Individual credit reporting agencies viz. Experian, Equifax, TransUnion also provide credit report for a fees of about 10$ per report.
  5. If you have been denied a credit, you can apply for free credit report from these three credit rating agencies.
  6. The three different credit rating agencies maintain different credit reports and each one of them has to be obtained in order to get a comprehensive picture of your credit report.
  7. Credit report has 4 different parts: identifying information about the individual, credit history, public records, and inquiries made to the credit file.
  8. Identifying information includes your name and address, and social security number.
  9. Credit history includes detailed list of each of the accounts you have and corresponding account numbers( the numbers can be encrypted). The other details shown on credit history will be the date of opening of account, the details of loans you took, total amount of loan, your payment history, the amount you still owe and the status of the account.
  10. The public records part of your credit card describes the details regarding bankruptcies, judgments, and tax liens.
  11. The inquiries section contains the details of enquiries lenders have made on your credit history in order to give you loan, or issue a credit card.
  12. Contrary to popular belief, any errors in credit report can be corrected by applying to the credit rating agencies with a copy of the credit report and documents to substantiate your claim.
  13. Any such claim has to be verified by credit rating agencies within 30 days of filing the dispute. If they are not able to do so the mistake has to be removed from your credit report.
  14. If the credit rating agencies like the Experian, Equifax and TransUnion still find the information correct, all is not lost. You can contact the creditor for dispute settlement.
  15. If the creditor finds that the remarks in credit history are incorrect they will get it corrected by reporting the same to credit rating agency.