Sunday, April 15, 2012

Time revisit your credit report!

April is Financial Literacy Month. What better time to revisit some fundamentals of your credit report?

Your credit report is a record of your credit history with details about:
  • Your identity. Your name, address, full or partial Social Security number, date of birth, and possibly employment information.
  • Your existing credit. Information about credit that you have, such as your credit card accounts, mortgages, car loans, and student loans. It may also include the terms of your credit, how much you owe your creditors, and your history of making payments.
  • Your Public Records. Information about any court judgments against you, any tax liens against your property, or whether you have filed for bankruptcy.
  • Inquiries about you. A list of companies or persons who recently requested a copy of your report – also known as hard inquiries. Remember, checking your own credit will not harm your score.
Who looks at it? Lenders, insurers and others may obtain your credit report from credit bureaus to assess how you manage financial responsibilities. For example:
  • Lenders may use it for loan decisions and terms (for example, the interest rate).
  • Home and auto insurance companies may use it to decide whether you can get insurance and to set your rates.
  • Landlords may use it to determine whether to rent to you.
These credit decisions and others affecting your financial health are why it’s important for you to monitor your credit and review your reports regularly.

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