Why do I need to review my credit report?

Why do I need to review my credit report?

A credit report is basically a report card on your consumer financial spending habits. You can request one copy of your credit report every year from each of the nationwide credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. In some states, your initial request is free; in others; there is a fee and, in particular cases, a fee exemption.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) created guidelines to ensure that the information contained in the report is fair, truthful, and relevant.

Having excellent credit can opens many doors for you in terms of achieving your life goals such as home ownership, starting that new business, or any other life goals requiring external financing. A good credit report tells lenders that you’re, in fact, credit worthy.

And, as you can imagine, a bad credit report does the exact opposite, identifying you as a credit risk. Negative information can remain on your credit report for as long as seven (7) years. Once you review your report and find that there is information listed incorrectly, then you should contact the credit bureau immediately.

Each credit bureau has credit dispute procedures listed online for you to follow. Be very persistent until you get resolution. Like any bureaucracy, you may have to jump through a few hoops before you get satisfaction. However, it’s worth the effort to redeem your good name and credit status.

Keep in mind that credit reports may be viewed by:
a) landlords for apartment rentals,
b) by employers before hiring potential employees or even before promoting a current employee,
c) for issuing security clearances or special licenses,
d) by insurance companies prior to insuring customers.

NOTE: Potential employers must have permission before looking at your credit report and companies are required to tell you if you were not hired because of information on your credit report. They must give you a chance to make corrections; however, they are not obliged to hold the job open while you fix the problems on your credit report.
If you have not already done so, make it a point to get a copy of your credit report real soon and check its complete accuracy. If you find an error, take the necessary steps to correct it immediately.