|What is a credit report?
- A credit report is a summary of your financial reliability
- It is prepared by credit bureaus (also known as credit reporting agencies)
- Primarily used by lenders, employers and others who, under federal law, have a legitimate need for the information, such as when you apply for a loan, insurance policy, apartment or job.
|What is in my credit report?
- Identifying information
- Public record information
- Credit history information
|How do credit bureaus get their information?
- Lenders voluntarily supply the information to them
|How often should I get a copy of my report & where can
I get it?
- Once per year from each of the three credit bureaus
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|What kind of problems could I encounter?
- Make sure it accurately reflects how you have paid your bills.
- Verify that all the accounts listed are yours.
- Look for accounts you don't use and may have forgotten. You may be able to raise your credit score by closing unnecessary accounts.
|How do I correct wrong or incomplete information in my credit report? |
- Immediately tell the credit bureau, in writing. Each credit bureau has their own procedures for submitting this type of information.
- Identify each item in your credit report that you dispute.
- Send your information by certified mail.
|What if I have a question or complaint involving a credit bureau?
- First attempt to resolve the issue directly with the credit bureau. If unsuccessful, contact the FTC at 877-FTC-HELP.
|What is a credit score and why is it important? |
- A credit score is a number calculated by a credit bureau or lender for use in making a decision on a loan application.
- Many lenders use a system developed by Fair Isaac & Company called "FICO score".
- The better your credit score, the better your chances are of getting a loan with an attractive rates and terms.
|What are the most important factors in determining my credit score? |
- How you pay your debts
- How much debt you owe
- Late payments on loans
- Past bankruptcy
- Debt collections
- Court judgment ordering you to pay money as a result of a lawsuit
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