Protect your credit history by getting your free annual credit reports, and following these simple identity theft protection tips.
As we mentioned so many times before, your credit history is what will influence your entire financial life. It will determine your reliability as a potential customer for a credit company or institution. So, let’s take a look at what your credit report includes.
Your Credit Report
Your credit report is a paper that includes any kind of information about both your personal, as well as your financial status. Based on this information, you will be assigned a score called FICO. The higher the FICO score, the better your changes of building a positive credit history. All three major credit bureaus, Equifax (formerly TRW), Experian, and TransUnion prepare reports based on this information. Whenever you request some kind of credit, the lender will automatically get in touch with one of these credit offices to gain a copy of your credit report.
Although this might sound as a complicated technical process, what you should keep is mind is the fact that your credit score will have an impact on all your financial life. This is the reason why you should be aware of your score, and report too. Reviewing it on a regular basis will also allow you to identify possible mistakes and find a solution as soon as possible.
What Your Score Means For You
Well, basically, everything … starting with the decisions that companies make about you when you apply for a loan. If your credit history is less than ideal, your request may be easily rejected or a higher interest rate may be attached to your account. Keep in mind that problems can show up in your report for even two years regardless of their possible resolution.
Get free credit counseling advice to help you overcome your debt. Know All Your Options.
What Influences Your Score
How you manage your payments is what mostly influences your score. Paying your bill in time, your score will be obviously affected in a positive way.
The amount of your outstanding debt is also an aspect to consider. Your outstanding debt consists of both the outstanding balance on your accounts, as well as the credit limits on any credit cards you own. If you are in possession of many credit cards that have high credit limits, even without having a balance, the option that you will one day charge all of them to their limits still holds. This alone can negatively affect your credit report.
The lack of a credit history can also be viewed as a negative factor. With no information at all, companies are unable to evaluate you as a potential customer.
A new epidemic has hit and you can protect yourself … if personal or financial papers, documents, mail, etc. are missing, you need to protect yourself from identity theft. Thieves will even go through your garbage to find enough information to steal your identity.
If you suspect your identity has been stolen you need to shut down your credit report … you do this through a credit monitoring service. You also need to change bank accounts, credit cards, etc…. it is best for you to deal directly with your local bank to do this.
If you find activity on your credit report that isn’t yours, you will want to contact the agency issuing the disputed report, you may even need to contact local police to file a report. But whatever you do, protect yourself!
Obtaining Your Report
All major credit agencies are now obliged, under new credit card laws, to provide you with a copy of your credit report for free on a yearly basis.
Although the credit report is free of charge, obtaining your FICO store may involve a fee. You can get your credit report from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion upon request, once every 12 months. You do have to make the request however; but the Federal Government has made that exceptionally easy. Just visit AnnualCreditReport.com each year to request your annual free credit reports.
Learn more about credit cards and your credit score with these related articles:
All about Credit Cards … a series of articles on choosing credit cards, how to evaluate them and where to get them, quickly and easily!
Your Credit … your ratings, scores and protecting your credit.