Whenever you have decided to apply for a loan or credit, records of your previous dealings with someone else’s money are essential.
It depends on a network of credit reporting agencies that whether you get that credit card, or not. These agencies either share information with, or they are owned by, three major credit bureaus. This report often constitutes a critical factor in credit scoring systems that are used by lenders in order to issue credit cards as well as mortgages or other loans.
So, it’s a good idea to check your credit report if you’re considering to make a major financial move in order to know where you stand. By doing this you can be aware of any problems before they jump up and derail your plans and if necessary you may take effective steps to resolve them.
If there are any problems that have been found by you or if any potential creditors have discovered them, then you should take steps to rebuild that damaged credit and clean up that record.
If mistakes have been made by you in paying previous loans, bounced checks, you have made late payments or had other problems, still there are possibilities for you to reduce the amount of damage they will do to your credit with explanations or some basic repair.
Getting your hands on your credit report
It is easy to obtain copies of your credit reports. It has just been made possible by a 2004 federal law that everyone is entitled to one free credit report per year from each of the main credit reporting agencies. These agencies are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
You should make your request for your free credit reports through a centralized source. If you want to order online, visit www.annualcreditreport.com. By phone, you can call (877) 322-8228. Or, you in order to get it you may complete the form on the back of the Annual Credit Report Request brochure, and then mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA, 30348-5281.
Take out some time, then check the details
If you are taking your initial steps to apply for a major loan, such as a house or car, then it is important for you to give yourself time so that you may correct mistakes or make good on delinquent accounts. It depends on the type of loan, that how much time you should give your self. Here I have given you a guideline:
If you are applying for a home, then it is necessary for you to check your credit at least three to six months before that you apply for a mortgage.
If you are applying for an auto loan, then you should check your credit and arrange financing with your bank or credit union before that you start shopping.
If you are applying for credit cards, you need to check your report before that you apply. The last thing that is needed by you is for a credit report problem to slow down your application especially if it’s not your fault.
Once that the report is in your hands then, you should ensure that the following information is correct:
Your name, or names if you are or were married are correctly written there.
Your Social Security number is correctly written in your credit report.
Date of birth mentioned there is correct.
There are no mistakes in the addresses of places you’ve lived.
Names of places you’ve worked are correctly mentioned there.
There are no mistakes in the pending accounts and accounts that have been closed.
There has been nothing on the report longer than is allowed by law:
After 10 years bankruptcies must be taken off your credit history.
Suits and judgments, tax liens, arrest records, and most other kinds of unfavorable information must be dropped from your credit report after seven years.
There are no mistakes in the records of delinquent payments or other problems.