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Credit scores are more than just numbers; they reflect how lenders, banks, credit card companies, landlords and insurance agencies see individuals who are potential business associates.  In today’s financial world the most valuable thing we have is our credit rating. Understanding how credit works allows you to make the right choices. Building and maintaining good credit keeps the doors and financial opportunities open. With high credit, you can obtain just about anything and reduce costs significantly.  

Why is Credit Hard to Understand?

The credit basics are simple; each person has a different profile on their report.  Factors such as age, income, work, financial habits, and lifestyle, are some examples of things that make us individuals.  These items must be considered when determining what steps you need to take in building and correcting your credit. The proverb different stokes for different folks reflects how a younger person looking to build credit is going to different things, contrary to a mature person having correct items on their report.  It is up to individual to identify items, modify and to adjust items their credit report.

Getting Your Free Credit Report

Equifax, Experian and Transunion credit are the three main nationwide credit reporting companies. They’ve set up a central website and telephone number for you to obtain a copy of your credit report. Visit, where you can immediately see and download your reports each from bureau. You can also call 1-877-322-8228, to have a free copy of your reports mailed to you. This is only available once every 12 months for free. Please be advised, those reports will not show your actual credit score on the report. The free copies will only show your payment history and financial transactions. Again, you should start by downloading and saving each report to your computer for review. 

What do the Credit Bureaus do?

The credit bureaus maintain a number of details related to your financial history.  This begins at the time you open your first credit account. Your repayment history includes: available lines of credit, the amount of credit you’re using, outstanding debt collections, judgement and bankruptcies, tax liens, foreclosures, and repossessions. The amount of times your credit has been run can also have a negative impact on your credit score. This is viewed as if you are applying for new credit. 

Where do Credit Bureaus get information?

Credit bureaus depend on banks, businesses, and debtors you owe money to provide them with information on your spending and repayment habits. According to a study by the Federal Trade Commission, 1 in 20 consumers have an error on their reports that will lower their credit score. This factor significantly makes financing more expensive for anyone. It is your responsibility to monitor and maintain the correct information listed on your report.

Law Regarding Credit Bureaus

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that defines how credit bureaus are supposed to operate. The FCRA gives consumers the right to an accurate credit report. If you find errors on your credit report, you are allowed to dispute these errors with the credit bureaus. The credit bureaus are required to do investigations and correct errors, when necessary.

Next learn learn – How to dispute your credit report

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