Your credit report is the single most important piece of information used by lenders and creditors when considering your applications. The information contained within your report will be the main influential factor involved in deciding your interest rate, the terms and conditions and even if you are approved or declined! This is why it is absolutely crucial to ensure your report is accurate and error-free!
There are three particular things you should be looking for when checking your report. These are your credit history, any signs of identity theft and finally any mistakes.
Your Credit History – Your credit history is a record of how well you have managed past or present credit facilities such as loans, credit cards or even mortgages. This will shows if you have missed any payments, been late with any and even if you have defaulted on an agreement. This data influences your ‘credit score’ too. This is a number that ranges between 500 and 850. Generally the higher this score is, the better your chances are at getting credit. Again, a low credit score will result in either higher interest rates being applied or a declined application.
Identity Theft – These days identity theft is an increasing trend. Identity thieves are continuously seeking out new methods of capturing your information and sensitive details. These can then be used to make fraud applications for credit or services. You can protect yourself against identity theft by checking and monitoring your credit report on a regular basis. Every six months is a good start. If you do come across any unknown or unrecognisable, you can file a dispute with the bureau concerned.
Check For Mistakes! – Checking your credit report for incorrect or inaccurate entries is a great way to ensure your applications are judged fairly on your history, but its also a good way to make sure you are offered the best interest rates possible. In 2007 around 7 in every 10 credit reports requested were found to have inaccurate entries or mistakes. Checking your report for unknown entries is also a great way to keep on top of the tell-tale signs of identity theft. Check your details very carefully, paying attention to your personal information, marital status, account status, open creditors, and payment histories. If there are any errors on your credit report, you should report them as soon as you possibly can.
It’s Your Credit Report – Because other people are using this report to judge you, it only makes sense for you to pull your own credit report and see exactly what they’re looking at. By law, you are entitled to one free credit report per year. Take advantage of the opportunity and check your credit report on a regular basis.