Currently, three companies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, track everyone’s credit histories. Don’t forget that banks, lenders, retailers, landlords, and other “credit grantors” use credit reports generated by these companies to determine your creditworthiness. Why not take this opportunity to clean up incorrect or misleading information reflected on your credit reports?
Your credit report reflects quite a bit of information about you and your financial affairs.
- The bulk of your credit report focuses on your various loans and credit card accounts. Included is the name of each of your creditors, as well as the type of account, the minimum monthly payment, the account’s limit or high balance, and the current outstanding balance.
- Your credit report also reflects the most recent twenty-four month payment history for each creditor, showing whether each month’s payments were current, delinquent, or in default.
- Another section on your credit report details inquiries that were made by potential creditors. In this section, the name of the creditor and the date of inquiry are listed for each request that has been made.
- Your credit report also includes “public records” such as tax liens, bankruptcies, and judgments made against you. Most public records remain part of your credit history for seven to ten years. If you have any tax liens, they won’t be removed from your credit report until they are paid off.
The best way to find out how your credit report looks is to order one from time to time. You’re allowed to order three free credit reports per year – one from each credit bureau – through annualcreditreport.com. If you find errors on your credit report, or accounts listed as open that had previously been closed, reach out to each credit reporting agency to have those items cleaned up as soon as possible.