Welcome back friends and followers!
In PART 1 of this series, I gave you the scoop on where to access free copies of your credit reports and on why checking these on a regular basis is so important. Today, I am going to walk through each credit report section to help you check for mistakes.
While they do not look exactly the same, all credit reports have the same basic information zones:
- Report Summary: Some credit reports include an easy-to-read summary which highlights the most important information in your credit file which is used in determining your credit standing. This can include charts and graphs showing the number of accounts, the ages of accounts, and debt-to-credit ratios.
- Personal Information: This section includes your name, current and previous addresses, current and previous phone numbers, Social Security number, date of birth, and current and previous employers. It is important to make sure that all of the information listed is truly yours.
- Trade Lines & Accounts: The bulk of your credit report is found in this section which lists details (creditors, dates, balances, late payments, etc.) of trade lines and accounts opened in your name or tied to you as an authorized user, including collections. It is sometimes divided into categories separating open accounts from closed accounts, good standing accounts from negative accounts, and/or account types (mortgage, revolving, installment, etc.).
- Public Records: This section includes financial public records reported by courts of law, such as judgments, liens, bankruptcies, and overdue child support. If you are seeking new lines of credit, items in this section will need to be satisfied first.
- Credit Inquiries: This section is a record of requests to view your credit report from potential creditors – lenders, services providers, landlords, insurers, employers, etc. You want to make sure that the requests listed were authorized by you.
If you discover mistakes, it is your responsibility to correct them. Read Error in Your Credit Report? Here’s How to Dispute It for a step-by-step guide to remove errors from your credit report. If you need additional assistance, contact a CASH Program Coordinator. We would love to help!
Until next time, keep calm and keep up with the CASH blog!