Checking Your Credit Report
Checking Your Credit Report

Your credit report contains information on where you live,
where you work, how you pay your bills, and whether or not
you've ever been arrested or declared bankruptcy. This
information is incredibly important because it affects so
many parts of your life.

Interest rates for mortgages and other loans are based on
your credit score. Many employers check credit reports
before making an offer. And an increasing number of auto
insurance companies are looking at credit reports in
determining policy premiums. You may find yourself paying
higher rates even if you never get into an accident or get
caught speeding.

There are three credit-reporting agencies that gather information
about your credit and provide your credit report to creditors,
insurers, employers, and other businesses that have a legal
right to access your credit report. These three companies are
Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union.

Under federal law, you are entitled to receive one free copy of
your credit report from each agency once a year. You should be
sure to get a copy from all three agencies since they get their
information from different sources and the information in each
report may be slightly different.

You can either order all three reports at the same time or you
can stagger them so you receive them separately, such as
ordering one free report every four months.

Given its importance, you can  understand why checking your
credit report regularly is so vital. You'll be able to make
sure that all information on your credit report is accurate,
complete, and up-to-date. You'll also be helping to protect
yourself from identity theft. If someone steals your Social
Security number or credit card number and commits fraud in your
name, the fraudulent accounts will appear on your credit card.

If you do see inaccurate information on your credit report, you
should report it immediately. Notify the consumer reporting
company, in writing, of the information you believe is inaccurate.

Provide as much information you can to back up your claim. The
agency must investigate the items in question. The company that
provided the information in question to the consumer reporting
agency will also receive notice that there is a dispute. If it is
determined that the information was inaccurate, the provider must
notify all three agencies of the correction.

If the investigation does not resolve your dispute and the
inaccurate information is not removed or corrected, you can ask
to have a statement attached to your credit report. The statement
will allow anyone who pulls your credit report to see that you
dispute an item and the reason why.

Keep on them!  Many times credit report companies will drop a negative
entry against you if you are persistent.

Ed Lathrop is a successful real estate investor and a series 3 commodities futures broker.
He has extensive knowledge of the credit/mortgage markets.  He has built the financial
calculator Website, ezcalculator which is free to use and includes the calculator, "Pay Your
Credit Card Debt Quick."  Ezcalculator can be found at Mortgage Calculator or by going to