Summarizing Your Financial History
Almost everyone has a financial history which is used as the basis by lenders and creditors to determine whether or not they should allow you provide you with credit or extend your credit. Your financial history is however not known to these lenders and creditors in advance so they need a way to get an overview of your financial history. They however do not need to know every little details. Instead, if they are provided with a summary of your financial history, they would have sufficient information to determine whether or not they should grant you credit or extend your credit. A Equifax credit report provides them with a summary of your financial history. In this report, the creditors and lenders will also have valuable information such as your payment history and the number of credit accounts. Using this information, they will be able to evaluate your creditworthiness and decide if to give you credit and at what rates.
Getting Information on Your Credit Report
Not everyone keeps track of their financial history and thus will not be able to provide creditors and lenders with a credit report and even if they were able to do so, how trustworthy will their credit report be? So, how exactly and by whom are credit reports prepared? How does your information get on a credit report that is not created and managed by you? Well, credit reports are created and maintained by credit reporting bureaus who track and maintain a history of your credit activities. Three of the main credit reporting bureaus are: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. These bureaus work together with banks, credit card companies, mortgage companies, retailers and other lenders from whom you obtain credit. Based on the information provided by these parties to the bureaus such as whether or not you pay on time and how much of your credit is being used, your consumer credit report is created and updated frequently.
Those Allowed to See Your Credit Report
So, since that these bureaus create and maintain your credit report, can they make it available to whomever they want? Not exactly! Access to your credit report is governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Your Credit may be accessed for any of the below reasons:
1. Court Order
2. Prospective employers
3. Potential investors
4. Preapproved credit offers
5. Insurance coverage evaluation
6. Government licensing body or agency
In addition to the above reasons, you can also direct a letter to a credit reporting bureaus giving them permission to allow your report to be accessed by a specific person.
The Effects of Late Payments on Your Report
Late payments and other negative information pertaining to your credit history will definitely go on your report and will remain on your report based on the predefined timeframes. For example, late payment will remain on your report for approximately seven years while bankruptcies can remain on your report for up to ten years. It is important that you always keep track of the information that is placed on your report as sometimes wrong information can mistakenly end up on your report. Inaccurate information can result in a lower credit score which will definitely affect the manner in which you are evaluated by lenders. If you notice an error on your report, you can always file a dispute with the bureau either through the internet, phone and mail. Your dispute will be investigated within one to one and a half months and you will be informed of the income.
How to Get a Free Copy of Your Report
Every credit reporting bureau should provide you with a free copy of your report once per year if you request it. You can request it by mail whereby you may most likely not have any charges/fees. If you request it online, there may be some fees but you will definitely get your report faster than mail. As stated earlier, it is advisable for you to request a copy of your credit report so that you can check the accuracy of the information in it. In addition to your report, you can also assess and analyze your credit score. This process is however not free. Some charges may apply. However, if you are able to assess and analyze your credit score together with your credit report, you can determine if your credit information is accurate and up to date which will help you in the end to be better qualified to receive the credit that you would like to receive from lenders and creditors. If you notice any inaccuracies in your credit report, do not wait to dispute it. Do it immediately! If you need additional information, you can contact the Equifax office. They phone number can be found at https://www.contactphonenumbersuk.com/equifax-contact-number/.