´╗┐Understanding Your Credit Rating By Joseph Kenny

To improve your financial health, you must first understand your credit report and Free Credit Score Credit Sesame provides you with a monthly free credit score and a free credit report summary. Do a google search for USA Shopping Club and sign up with them for $12,500 unsecured credit card buy something and make the payments, Eclub USA and get your $3,500 credit card and finally Horizon Gold and get your $500 credit card. It is compiled by one or more of the credit bureaus and contains the detailed history of borrowing, payment behavior and credit inquiries. Credit reports are viewed by lenders in deciding whether to extend credit and on what terms. Credit reports are distilled using complex formulas, into three-digit numbers called credit scores. You can check out our complete comparison chart Or, if you already have your credit reports and are not sure what it all means, we have articles to answer all of your questions. Getting and Reading Your Credit Report – This article will help you order your credit reports and after you have them, how to figure out what it all means.

Three Worse-Case Senarios When You Don’t Check Your Credit Reports – Checking your credit reports at lease once a year will prevent these worse-case senarios: ID Theft, Erroneous Negative Information, and Zombie Debts. CFPB Reports on the Credit Reporting System – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently published a white paper addressing the gathering of data by the credit reporting agencies. Contact Information For the Big Three Credit Bureaus – Here is the all contact information for Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Credit Reporting Agencies – This article explains who these agencies are and how they come up with your credit score.

All the credit bureaus allow you to dispute mistakes via mail and over the telephone, however, it’s best to dispute credit report errors online. The three credit bureaus all have online dispute resolution services that are faster and more streamlined than using snail mail or speaking to someone via phone. When you notify the credit bureaus that something in your credit files isn’t correct, you have to categorize the nature of your dispute. Despite their importance, inaccuracies and errors plague credit reports, with estimates of serious errors affecting up to 25% of reports.

Anytime you complete the required dispute investigation forms supplied by the credit bureaus (either online or mailing in forms), you must check off at least one box on the form indicating exactly what information you think is wrong. In an ideal world, inaccurate or outdated information would simply be removed from your credit reports when you dispute such data and supply independent proof of your claim. Perhaps that’s why less than 2 percent of consumer dispute requests with the credit bureaus result in a deletion because of errors, according to the Consumer Data Industry Association.

The dispute process mandated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act has become a travesty, with the credit bureaus conducting perfunctory investigations by translating detailed written disputes into two or three digit codes and paying foreign workers as little as $0.57 to process each dispute. Tax liens can remain on your credit report indefinitely, though credit reporting agencies often remove them after 10-15 years. However, you may qualify to have the lien removed from your credit reports sooner, depending on the circumstances ( this guide can help you determine that ). Although criminal records aren’t included upon your credit report, civil judgments (such as a civil lawsuit or child support case) are. If you have to use credit to keep a small business open you are doing something wrong.

While derogatory marks can cause your credit score to take a major hit, they won’t keep you down the entire time they’re on your report. Maintaining good financial habits and keeping the rest of your credit in good health can help you build things back up. As negative information becomes older, it tends to have less of an impact on your credit scores, provided you have other current positive credit references. Paying down high credit card balances and keeping your debt usage ratio low, and making your payments on time are all things that can help you build your credit. While it might be hard at first, it is possible to return to good financial standing with a black mark on your credit report.