Why You Need To Pull Your Credit Report On A Regular Basis

monitor your credit report

Why should monitoring your credit report be a priority?  Because not only does it effect the way you are able to obtain future credit cards and loans but Identity theft is on the rise.  Its a myth that ID thieves only want people with good credit.  A lot of times they just need a valid social security number in order to be able to work.  So people with bad credit are at just much risk as people with good credit.

What is in your credit report?

What kind of information is contained in your credit report? Consumer credit reports contain information about an individual’s accounts and finances.

It also contains your employment history, salary history and other personal details such as your complete name, Social Security Number, date of birth, driver’s license number, your past and current home address, telephone number, etc.

All your dealings with past and present creditors, the types of accounts you have opened and your payment history are all reflected on your report. Its also used by  insurance companies, banks, and other financial institution to make the decisions if they want to work with you or not. Legal information such as records of bankruptcy, tax liens, foreclosure, alimony, etc are reported as well.

Who Checks On Your Credit Report?

Landlord, potential employers, insurance companies, government agencies, lending companies, credit card companies – all these organizations check consumer credit reports to examine their background and reputation.

Clearly, your credit report says a lot about you. A single false information on your credit report can damage your credit worthiness or reputation. Potential employers may refuse to hire you just because your credit report is unimpressive. Creditors may turn down your application if you have poor credit history. Therefore, it is your responsibility to make sure that your credit report is accurate and free from errors.

Check Your Credit Report

All consumers have the right to check the information contained in their personal credit reports. The Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act gives everyone the right to dispute incorrect or fraudulent information in their reports. In fact, if a credit reporting agency or a credit bureau refuses to take action, you may file a complaint to The Federal Trade Commission.

Obtain a copy of your report at least twice a year and carefully examine if there is any error or disputable records in it. Here are the contact details of the three major credit bureaus.  It used to be that you had to dispute all erroneous information thru the mail, but now, you just need to open accounts with them and you can make the disputes online.  But for those of you that prefer to contact them thru the mail, below are their addresses.  Make sure when you contact them you provide the proof behind your dispute.  Send all mail certified so you can verify when your dispute was received.

Equifax Information Services LLC
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374
www.equifax.com

Experian
P.O. Box 4500.
Allen, TX 75013
www.experian.com

Trans Union, LLC
Consumer Dispute Center
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
www.transunion.com

For a more in-depth discussion on credit report and your rights as a consumer, you may visit the FTC’s website at www.ftc.gov.

Allison May is a credit consultant and a writer for Credit Creators. The resource provides consumers with valuable advice and information on credit cards for bad credit,credit cards for good credit and other credit-related issues. Its main objective is to help people build good credit. Copyright © 2008

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