Reading a Credit Report is Not Easy

Credit reports are not easy to read. Most people get there credit report and have no idea what it really means. There are three major credit reporting agencies , Equifax, Trans Union and Experian. Each credit bureau has its own area of the country it reports for. Equifax reports for the eastern side of the country. The Trans Union reports for the central. And the Experian reports for the western. Some companies only report to the bureau in the area the consumer is in. Yet the major companies will report to all three bureaus.

Each report will show the name of the creditor. This is called the trade line. Each trade line will have when the account was opened, any missed or late payments, and when the account was closed, either by being paid off or charged off by the creditor. It will also show whether the account is a joint or individual account. It will also show if the account is a revolving, mortgage, or installment loan. The major credit reporting agencies also report public records such as bankruptcies, tax liens and judgments. People should be aware that they need to check to make sure this information is correct. Some people are not aware that inquires on the report can hurt the credit score. An inquiry, is anyone looking into the credit report for some reason, either to extend credit or for information about the person. Each time this is done it decreases the credit score. Everyone should pull their credit report at least once a year to protect themselves. Make sure all the information is correct. If any information is incorrect, the instructions to get it corrected is included with the credit report. Fill out the forms, then request a new credit report in six months to make sure the information is updated adequately.

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