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Not All Credit Reports Are Created Equal…


No matter where you get your credit score and credit report, make sure that you get the most complete informational package you can. Credit reports are not very exciting or even easy to read. If you are ordering your report online, look for one that includes graphs or lots of details that are easy to understand. Make sure that you get both your credit report and your credit score - even if you have to pay extra - because you need both to raise your scores. If you get just your report, you will not be able to follow the complex formulas used to arrive at your score and the report itself will not make as much financial sense to you if you don’t have your score in front of you, as well.

When you do get your credit report you will notice that it contains lots of information about you, including:

1) Your personal and contact information. This will include your name and your address, as well as your past several addresses, your social insurance number, your employers (past and present) and your birth date.

2) Your personal information about credit. A credit report notes all the details of your loans, including the types of loans you have now and have recently had, the dates these loans were opened, the credit limit on each loan, how well you have been repaying those loans (this is important - skipped or late payments count heavily against you in your credit score), and who your lenders are.

3) Information about you that is on the public record. This may include bankruptcies, unpaid taxes, unpaid child support, tax liens, your dealings with collection agencies, foreclosures, loan defaults, civil lawsuits that you have been involved in, and other information. Much of this will stay on your credit report and will seriously affect your credit score.

4) Information about who has looked at your credit report and credit score. Every time that someone looks at your credit score it is called an “inquiry.” Your credit report lists who has looked at your credit report in the past two years and how often you have applied for loans and credit in that period of time. Too many inquiries tend to affect your credit score.

When you get your credit report, it is important that you look at all parts of your credit report and understand what you are reading. Mistakes in any area of your credit report can affect your score, so be sure to check the entire report for inaccuracies and errors. Things like duplicate accounts, and old collections that are well beyond the removal date should be dead giveaways that you have some disputing to do.

LIfe happens - bankruptcies, divorces, lawsuits, non-payment of taxes. These can be substantial roadblocks in the credit world that can affect your credit score in a big way. If you have faced a major crisis (or several) that has ruined your credit, you need to take action fast and work consistently to boost your FICO score.

Get your full 3 bureau reports and scores at so you know where you stand and can start working on your credit today.

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