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Why You Should Learn to Read Your Credit Report

By Faye Mergel
Published: Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

A common mistake amongst a lot of credit cardholders is that they do not really take time to learn how to read credit reports. Back in the day, this would be understandable because credit reports were quite difficult to read. Today, however, credit reports are much easier to handle. Moreover, cases of identity theft have been increasing not just in America, but all over the world. Thus, there really is no reason cardholders should not take initiative in learning how to read their own reports.

Why You Should Learn to Read Your Credit ReportIn fact, it was actually the rise of identity theft cases that led to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, which was written into Congress in 2003. During the process of creating the act, consumers and advocates lobbied about the importance of understanding credit reports and just how this whole credit system operates.

Another reason why you should know in detail just what your credit report contains is the fact that your report plays a major role in you landing that job that you want. Today’s employers are taking initiative to check out credit reports of their applicants, to see if there are any bad marks on them. Credit reports also affect the amount that you need to pay for insurance, interest rates that you would be charged, as well as the need for you to pay mobile phone companies or other utilities a certain amount of deposit for their services.

Still, in spite of these efforts, a lot of people still find it difficult to decipher their own reports. Many consumers still find themselves confused when they try to understand details these documents contain. Here are some of information that you should look into.

Your name and address would not be new to you, of course. Still, pay attention to these details because your credit bureau might have misspelled your name or might have listed the wrong address. There might be another Tim Smith in New Jersey whose credit score is lower than yours and since you did not check the address plotted on your report, then you could be mistaken for that Tim Smith. Thus, pay close attention to these.

The next thing you should look for are negative details on your report. The tiniest mistake in these figures could help you greatly so make sure to browse these figures carefully and determine if there is anything inaccurate.

Reports issued can vary from one bureau to another. Check the official websites of these bureaus for more details on reading reports they issue. This way, you would be properly guided in ensuring accurate and concrete information regarding your credit standing.

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