Every person in the United States is legally entitled to see their credit report on a yearly basis. Credit reports are used to determine your credit score, which rates your trustworthiness as a debtor. If you have never checked your credit report before, you may be wondering how easy it is to request it. Read on for a guide to obtaining a copy of your credit report.
Where do credit reports come from? Credit reports are compiled by credit reporting agencies. In the United States, the three major credit reporting agencies are Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. These agencies compile information from your lenders every month and place it in your report. Every 12 months, you may request a free copy of your report from any or all of these agencies.
How do I read my credit report? Your credit report includes four distinct types of information: credit history, identifying information, inquiries, and public records. Your credit history includes any loans you are currently paying off, how much you owe on your credit cards, and how much credit is still available to you on your card. Identifying information may include your current and past addresses, your telephone numbers, and your Social Security number. Public records refer to financial information that is public knowledge, such as tax liens and bankruptcies, while inquiries simply list everybody who has requested your credit report in the past.
What if there is a mistake in my credit report? An error in your credit report can result in a low credit score, which can affect your ability to obtain a loan. To ensure that there are no errors in your report, you will probably want to get a copy of your report from each of the three agencies and compare them. If you find a mistake, such as incorrect payment status, wrong account information, or an inaccurate Social Security number, a credit attorney near Ashburn can advise you as to how to proceed.