Every year millions of Americans request their credit reports, yet very few know exactly what to look for. When you receive your credit report, it’s important to also view it from the eyes of employers, lenders, and other financial leaders. Knowing exactly what to look for on your credit report will help you ensure that your financial life is where you want it to be. Whether you have struggled with credit debt or are in a good place, accurately checking your credit report is a responsible practice!
4 Credit Report Considerations
The key to checking your credit report is to focus on accuracy. Since financial documents affect your everyday life, it’s crucial to ensure that everything is right and that anything that’s wrong is immediately fixed. Key elements to watch out for include:
1. Personal Information. Remember, mistakes are not uncommon on credit reports. Human error, similar names, or inadvertent mix-ups can all lead to inaccurate information. Ensure that all of your personal information is accurate, especially if you have any suffixes such as Jr. or Sr. You don’t want to be mixed up with another person on your credit report!
2. Activity. This is the prime time for you to be on the lookout for fraud or identity theft. See any activity you don’t recognize? Then investigate it and report it immediately. Quickly countering errors on your credit report is one of the most crucial strategies to defending your financial reputation.
3. Inquiries. Anytime you look into opening a new credit card or getting insurance, these people are allowed to “inquire” about your credit score. These inquiries should only remain for up to two years before vanishing. If you see any that are over two years old, be sure to follow-up and have the inquiry removed.
4. Public records. Have you ever filed for a bankruptcy? Mortgage modification? Ensure that all of your public records are accurate. Any inaccuracy could be unjustly harming your credit score.