How to Read Your Credit Report

The first step is to obtain a credit report. Please visit our How to obtain a credit report section for more information.

Once you have it, you could very well send it to us by fax or mail. Once we receive from you, along with the proper authorization to review it, we can review it and explain it to you free of charge, of course.

But you could also use the following guidelines to do it by yourself.

As explained in the commonly used terms section, a credit report is a file that credit bureaus share between each other that have personal information such as balance, credit history and so on.

If any information is inaccurate you can dispute it by yourself. Please visit our outside resources for the addresses of the credit bureaus where you can dispute any invalid information.

The firstpage will usually show your address, social security, place of employment and date on birth. It will also show a history of previous addresses and places of employment.

Then you will see any public records you might have such as tax liens, and judgments. Ideally you would have this section empty.

A tax lien and/or a judgment can significantly decrease your chances of obtaining a mortgage or car loan with a good interest rate.

The followingpage will show any account you might have either closed or open. Each one will show the creditor name, date of most recent activity, date account opened, most recent balance.

This section will also show a history of payment for each one of the accounts, for example 0 times past due 30 days. Ideally all your account will show being paid on time. If a credit card date requested a payment from you and you did not make that payment 30 days after the due date, they might report to the credit bureaus that the account was 30 days past due on such date.

Please be aware that if a change occurs on your credit history it might take some time before it is reflected on your credit file. That is why it is important to review your credit history at least every year, to make sure that changes and information are correct.

Then, on your credit report, after the listing of all accounts, it will show you apage with inquiries.

Each time you apply for credit whether for a credit card, insurance or other purposes, it will show on your credit report that an inquiry has been done. Too many inquiries within a certain period of time might result in your credit score decreasing, since companies might get the impression that you are trying to apply for many accounts, and may be planning to default on them. It is similar to credit risk criteria. Ask yourself the following question:

Would you lend money to a person who was tried to get money from many sources and was not approved?

Well, the same applies here.

Also, having too many credit cards open might not be good for your credit, since companies might think of you as being able to get into debt too easily.

For specific questions and details about your credit rights and in general about your credit score please request a free analysis.