Top 5 Reasons To Check Your Credit Report Regularly
#1 Make sure mistakes aren't hurting your credit.
Reviewing your credit report can help you avoid costly errors. In one recent study, more than 50% of the credit reports checked contained errors. Other studies have shown similar results with as high as a 70% error rate. The most common error occurs when the information of another person, with a similar name or account number, is recorded in your credit profile.
#2 Track your history of payments.
Potential lenders want to see a history of timely payments before they'll consider offering you a loan or credit. Check your report to see that your payments are being reported accurately to the credit reporting agency (CRA). A history of late payments will result in higher interest rates being charged or having your credit application or a loan denied. Late payments will also lower your FICO score.
#3 Protect against potential identity theft.
Identity theft has become the fastest growing crime in our nation. Identity theft complaints jumped 75% from last year according to a recent Federal Trade Commission report. The monetary loss from identity theft crimes skyrocketed to a combined $53 billion in 2002! Accounts that appear on your credit report that weren't opened by you could be a sign of identity theft. Report any such occurrences to all three major credit bureaus immediately and have them place a fraud alert on your account. The three bureaus can be reached at:
Equifax 800-997-2493 www.equifax.com
TransUnion 800-888-4213 www.transunion.com
Experian 888-397-3742 www.experian.com
#4 Keep your inquiries to a minimum.
Make sure all of the listed inquiries were authorized. If there are unauthorized inquiries, write to the credit bureau and to the company that made the inquiry informing them that you did not authorize the inquiry and to remove it from your credit file. Potential creditors can regard too many inquiries within a short period of time (30-60 days) as a negative and can result in the refusal to extend further credit.
#5 Stay on top of your credit without hurting your credit score.
A credit score, also called a FICO score, is a numerical grade given to each consumer . Your grade or score is an analysis of your credit risk based on your credit history. Credit scores range from 300 to 900, and those with scores in the range of 640 to 700 are considered excellent credit risks. Those with FICO scores below 500 are considered to have the highest risk of defaulting on a loan and therefore most lenders won't even consider them. Consumers with higher credit scores receive the best rates and terms on credit and loans.
Author: James H. Dimmitt
James is editor of "To Your Credit" a FREE weekly newsletter to help you manage your personal finances. You can subscribe to his newsletter and also get a FREE copy of your credit report when you visit: http://www.yourfreecreditreportnow.com
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1. Buy clothes at thrift stores.
Getting Your Credit Report and Understanding Whats On It
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Balance Transfers Introduction
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Why Does Your Credit Card Rate Keep Going Up?
Have your read your credit card contract through completely? Do you know when it is okay for your creditor to raise your interest rates? If you are not sure about how and when your rates can be affected over the life of your contract you should take a few minutes to read your contract thoroughly from beginning to end.Creditors must have clauses in their contracts that give them the right to change your interest rates.
Choosing a Credit Counseling Company
If you have considered credit counseling as an option to your financial problems, then you are probably wondering how to choose from one of the many credit counseling companies that are popping up left and right these days. There really is not an easy answer to this dilemma but there are some things that you can look for in a credit counseling company that might make the decision a little easier.
Building A Credit Report Lenders Will Love You For
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Tips for Credit Card Surfers
Moving money from credit card to credit card to take advantage of interest free balance transfers and effectively borrowing money for free. It's even possible to make money by borrowing money, transferring the debt to an interest free card and investing the cash in a high interest savings account until the interest free period expires.
It Takes Credit To Build Credit
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Shoppers Beware - Tis The Season
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Triple AAA in 30 Days
Have you ever wonder about how to get good credit with spending alot of money. Well here is a little secret I used to get my credit back up to par.
Learning the Disturbing Facts about Credit Card Debt
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Special Credit Information for Married Couples
If you are married, establish separate credit accounts.Try to finance real estate in just one partner's name to increase your investment financing potential.
Establishing Credit - What You Need To Know Part 1
Establishing credit is one of the most important things you can do in order to add stability to your financial record and dramatically increase your ability to borrow necessary funds in order to purchase a new home, new car or even pay for college expenses. Unfortunately credit has two sides to it that consumers can exploit.
Warning: Todays Non Profit Credit Counselors Are Yesterdays Bill Collectors!
Here's a dirty secret, today's "non profit credit counselors" are often just front organizations paid lucrative commissions by creditors to keep consumers from declaring bankruptcy!In the "debt collection biz", creditors will sell your outstanding debt along with the debt of hundreds of others to a collection agency for cash up front.The collection agencies will work this debt until they've made all the money they can.
Getting Married? What Are The Finance and Credit Implications?
There is a big difference between looking after your own finances while living alone, or with parents, and living with a partner. The transition can be very difficult, especially if both partners are strongly independent, or one partner is financially weak and the other strong.
Bad Credit Credit Cards
Chances are you've gotten your share of offers like this in the mail Bad Credit Credit Card, Bad Credit Visa Cards and Credit Cards for People With Bad Credit. Re-establish your credit with a bad credit credit card, credit cards for people with bad credit or pre-approved Visa cards regardless of your bad credit history, some with low introductory rates and other perks.
The Next Person With Credit Problems Got Their First Credit Card Today!
One of the focus areas of my information is the absolute necessity of changing the way a person thinks about money and debt while in the process of repairing their credit. I have seen cases where a couple will work really hard for months, and finally get their credit report to the place they can borrow again and go out and buy something on credit just because they can.
Low Interest Credit Cards Have Many Advantages
When credit cards are used wisely they can be very beneficial to the consumer. A low interest credit card can be exceptionally beneficial.
What Is a FICO Score and How Do I Make It Work for Me?
Whether or not you receive a loan and what interest rate you get on your credit card may be determined by something called a FICO score. Named for Fair, Isaac & Co.
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