Your credit report is a very powerful report that essential controls what you can and cannot do in your life. Unfortunately many people aren’t aware of what a credit report actually is and what information is contained on the report. This article breaks down what is contained on your credit report and tells you everything you always wanted to know about your credit report but were afraid to ask.
Your credit report is nothing more then a very detailed snapshot of your financial history that is furnished to anyone supplying you credit from the credit bureau. There are three main credit bureaus that handle a majority of these credit report request. They are Experian, Equifax and Trans Union. Each of these organizations are private in nature and routinely furnish your credit information when asked to do so for a fee.
Generally speaking the credit reports provided by the credit bureaus are very detailed and very accurate. For instance it’s not uncommon for them to have information regarding missed payments as far back as 6 or 7 years. They collect this information in order to provide it to creditors prior to their providing any form of credit to a consumer seeking credit. The creditors can use the information they receive to determine if that same consumer can be considered a good credit risk. A good rating allows for more favorable credit terms while a poor rating essentially ends any chance for a consumer to obtain credit in the first place.
The amount of time that a blemish (such as a missed credit card payment) stays on your credit report can vary but normally these negative items are deleted after 7 years thanks to the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. Bankruptcies are another matter entirely and they normally remain in place for up to 10 years. Keep in mind that credit inquiries stay on your credit report for 2 years so closely monitor the number of times you apply for credit since a high number of inquiries can be viewed in a negative manner.
Until recently in order for a consumer to view their credit report they had to order a copy from one of the three main credit bureaus and pay a small fee. However new laws now allow for 1 free credit report every year to any consumer that wishes to see their credit report.
The power of your credit report is incredible. Even if you have built up a positive credit report any missed payment no matter how small the amount can result in a denial of credit. The best advice most credit can give is to stay current on your entire monthly financial or reoccurring obligations and don’t overextend yourself financially.
Hopefully this quick article answered a few of your questions regarding your credit report. More detailed information can be found in various locations throughout the Internet. Don’t forget to request your free copy of your credit report so you can see where you stand in the eyes of future potential creditors.