[I]f you’ve been researching about how to improve your credit, you’ve probably read about credit reports. Many times, articles and other information assumes you know what a credit report is and how it looks. For those without that knowledge, here are the basics.
What Is a Credit Report?
It’s a list of all of your credit information as well as some personal information. It tells everywhere you’ve worked and lived as well as the credit accounts you have or have had in the past. It includes collections accounts if you failed to pay for something. In essence, a credit report is the story of how you handle credit.
What is in a Credit Report?
A credit report will provide a lot of information about you. It tells how much you owe on loans and credit cards. It also tells when you’ve made all of your payments as well as any late payments. Your report will also provide information about any accounts you’ve failed to pay, even if they don’t normally report to the credit agencies.
A credit report is generated by the credit reporting agencies. Each one is unique based on the information provided to that agency. Not all creditors report and some only report to one of the three main agencies. Your credit reports could be quite different from each other.
How to Get Your Credit Report
If you’ve never seen your credit report, you need to take a look. There can be errors on the reports if something was not reported correctly. You can get one free credit report every year at annualcreditreport.com. You will also have access to a free report if you are turned down for credit.
It’s a good idea to get one every year and just before you apply for a loan or new credit. Take a look at the information and make sure everything is correct. If you find any information that is not accurate, you can dispute it and have it removed or fixed.
Anyone who wants to have good credit should know what a credit report is and what is on theirs.
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