Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a credit report?
Your credit report is a record of your credit accounts and payment history. It includes your basic biographical information, as well as information on how many credit accounts you have and if you have been making payments on time. It will also include your bankruptcy and rental history.
Why do credit reports matter?
Your credit report is used by lenders to determine the interest rate you’ll pay for a loan. But it may also be used by employers, landlords, and insurance companies to make decisions about you. Negative information on your credit report can impact whether you get hired for a job, how much you’ll pay for auto and homeowners insurance, and your ability to rent an apartment or obtain a cell phone.
Who has my credit reports?
Each of the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, maintains a credit report on you. There are slight differences in how each report may look, but in general, each of these reports should show the same information. There are smaller, more specialized credit bureaus that also have credit reports but most lenders review reports from these three bureaus.
How do you access your credit reports?
You have the legal right to access your credit reports for free once per year through annualcreditreport.com. During the COVID-19 pandemic through April 2021, the major credit bureaus have also agreed to make credit reports available for free once per week.
How do I check my credit report?
Once you have accessed your report at annualcreditreport.com, read it carefully. Check each and every bankruptcy related tradeline – that is, all tradelines that were handled during your bankruptcy.
How do you dispute errors on your credit reports?
Once you get your credit report, check it carefully to make sure all of the information is correct. If you find errors, you must file a dispute with the appropriate credit bureau. You can find a sample complaint letter here. Other samples can be found on this website.
Keep copies of everything you send to the CRAs and that they send you. And be sure to only send copies. Hold onto your original documents.
What is a credit score?
A credit score is a number used to quickly determine your creditworthiness. Your credit scores are formulated by the two major credit scoring companies: FICO and Vantage and can range from 300-850. The higher your score is, the more creditworthy you are considered. Credit scores are calculated based on information in your credit report, which is the PRIMARY reason why having an accurate credit report is important.
How do I improve my credit score?
You can improve your credit score by making your loan payments on time, reducing your use of credit, and making sure your credit report is accurate.