The first thing most consumers look at when it comes to their credit is their credit score. However, as we have written here in our blog, a credit score completely depends upon the information in the credit report. Thus, it is most important that you view your credit report to see that the information on it is all accurate. Here is what you need to know about the parts of your credit report as you review them.
Addresses and Identifying Information
The first thing to look at on your report is what addresses are being reported with you. These are not all supposed to be current addresses. If you provided an address to any creditor in the past several years, it will be captured on your report. Addresses are used by the credit bureaus to match information to you. The same can be said for other identifying information like social security number or date of birth. Those “identifiers” are what the credit bureaus use to match incoming account information to particular credit files. Thus, it is important to review all of that information to see that it is accurate and correct.
If you filed bankruptcy or have a judgment against you, there is a section on the credit report just for that. The credit bureaus obtain information from courthouses that can have an impact on one’s credit standing. If you have a judgment and are subject to garnishment, or have declared bankruptcy in the past ten (10) years, that information can be reported on a credit report. This information is reported separately from the creditor accounts.
Trade lines is the term used for creditor accounts. This portion of the credit report is the most commonly known portion. Many creditors, past and present, report information about your conduct with that account to the credit bureaus. Most of the time they update monthly to keep a constant current snapshot of your credit standing with the credit bureaus. Creditors can report a vast amount of information about an account. The most important, however, is the balance, the payment history, and the account status.
Inquiries often appear at or near the end of a report and reflect the names of the companies that have gained access to your report and the day they gained that access. There are different types of inquiries, and we have written about them right here on this blog. Most importantly, there are inquiries that show when you applied for credit and to whom, and there are inquiries showing when your current creditors are reviewing your status. Only those companies that you either have applied to or have credit with should be looking at your credit reports. Obtaining a credit report without a permissible purpose is a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Contact us if that has happened to you.
If any of the information on your credit report is not accurate, it must be disputed directly to the credit bureaus. They must investigate your claims and respond to you within 30 days. If you are facing credit report mistakes, contact SmithMarco, P.C. for a free case review.