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Read It Right, everything will be all right

By Janet Lacey
Published: Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

The key in mastering the credit bureaus’ way of assessing credit worthiness can only be found in the knowledge of the individual regarding the technicalities of his or her credit report and score. It is a hard fact that credit bureaus have the tendency to focus on the possible negative attributes of an individual’s active credit life. However, it is even more pressing to admit that the scores and reports from the credit bureaus can be too complicated to understand.

Most people who are aware of their right to dispute wrongful information documented in their credit history are not aware on where he or she can find the possible points that can be disputed to elevate his or her credit worthiness ratings. The proper way of reading a credit bureau report will require time and patience, but all of these efforts will be returned many folds if properly done.

A credit report is commonly divided into four parts which are personal information, credit history, public records and inquiries. The credit history part in the report has the greatest weight in making or breaking your credit worthiness rating. Credit history includes all of the individual’s credit activities as far as seven years for the negative attributes. This part also includes all types of credit accounts that the individual can be held accountable for like mortgages, house loans, car loans and even revolving credit accounts like credit card accounts and department store privilege cards.

The date the account was opened will also be included and the other specifications of an existing credit account like manner of payment and balances. The most important part in reading the credit history part is noting the payment history. An individual’s payment history in the last 30 days prior to the accumulation of the credit report will bear a greater weight as compared to its other components.

In reading the public record part the reader should be aware of the three worst possible situations that a credit account holder can run into. These are bankruptcies, tax liens, and judgments. These three are the worst simply because they are end of the line resorts that individuals do to save themselves from further monetary damages. These public records are usually hidden in the plain sight of society but it is certain that they will be reflected in the credit report of the individual.

In reading the inquiries part of the credit report, readers will find hard and soft inquiries made with the individual’s accounts. Hard inquiries are the actual filled- up forms while soft inquiries are those which are pulled out from the credit bureaus for promotional and monitoring purposes. And lastly, identifying information would require all the needed personal information from the credit account holder. This part would commonly include the social security number, name, address and even the name of the spouse of the credit account holder. In reading this part, the reader should be well aware of the possible discrepancies in the filled information. Any discrepancies in this part of the report can be an early indicator of possible identity theft and fraud.

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