Who Writes The Credit Reports?
There are three private companies that store your credit data on their files. Their business is to provide retailers, lending companies, banks and anybody who is in a position to give credit, with a detailed report of your financial behavior. They just have to be subscribed to any or all three of these companies called "bureaus" or agencies, and they will get the information on any customer who approaches them for credit.
How Can I get My Report?
You can obtain your report in three different ways: Requesting it by ordinary mail, by telephone or on-line. You can get one free report per year from each one of the three agencies but for this you must use the centralized web-page on the Internet.
Consequently, you will be able to see exactly the same information as your creditors, when you ask them for credit and they call the bureaus to find out who you are. Sometimes you may have to pay for your report, but it will never be in excess of $15.
Not All Of It Is Accurate
There are a lot of errors on credit reports, more than one could imagine. To begin with, there may be missing information, just because the creditor was not subscribed to that particular bureau. Other data may be outdated and will need to be erased and even other information will be completely erroneous, due to various factors.
One of them could be a misplacement of somebody else's information and another one could be due to identity confusion. Someone with the same name could be responsible for this, although is is always recommendable to use your full name, including your middle name, to avoid this kind of confusion.
What Exactly Appears On The Report?
Actually, everything that has to do with your credit. Every single loan application is fed into the report. For this reason, make sure you know exactly what lender you want and apply for a loan with only that one. More than two or three at a time could be understood as something negative, namely, that you are desperate for credit.
Payments made past due date are registered, defaults, bankruptcies, mortgages and debt counseling, too.
It is your responsibility to check on the accuracy of the information on the report. Whatever is incorrect, outdated or missing, should get immediate attention. This is done through credit repair which you can do by yourself if you are careful enough and methodical so as to have registered all your payments, applications or whatever financial operation you may have done.
You are protected by law and the bureaus have to respond and correct any wrong entry in not more than thirty days. Take advantage of it and do a good job. Your next loan depends on it.