Credit Report Information

By Deborah Nayrocker

Dear Deborah: What information is in my credit report? Does my score really matter? Thanks. – A Reader

Answer: Your credit report contains:

1)    Personal Information: Your name, previous and present addresses, Social Security number, past and current employer(s) and your spouse’s name may be listed.

2)    Credit Accounts: This includes the types of loans you’ve taken out (such as credit cards, car loans, or mortgages) and the current balance, and whether payments have been made on time. Accounts turned over for collection may be listed.

3)    Public Record Information: This includes tax liens, bankruptcy, money judgments, and in some states, delinquent child support payments.

4)    Inquiries: This lists the lenders, employers or other companies that have reviewed your credit report in the previous two years. Source: Financial Literacy Center.

Most lenders refer to an elaborate scoring system compiled by Fair Isaac Corporation. FICO scores range from 300 to 850, with scores above 700 considered more acceptable.

Higher credit scores can mean you pay a lower rate for loans and insurance. Many credit card companies increase your interest rate if payments are late with another creditor.

For a credit report from the major credit bureaus, go to www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228.

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Deborah Nayrocker is an author and columnist. She is the award-winning author of The Art of Debt-Free Living and Living a Balanced Financial Life.

Copyright by Deborah J. Nayrocker. All rights reserved.