What is a credit report?
Your credit report is not only a listing of your existing creditors but contains other personal information:
- A list of present and previous addresses
- Employment history
- Payment history to your creditors for the past seven years to ten years
- A list of credit that you have applied for over the past two years
- Public records such as judgments or bankruptcy status
- Social security number
Why should I care what is on my credit report?
The information on your credit report can affect you in obtaining a car, mortgage loan, getting a job, or receiving additional credit or insurance.
How can I get a copy of my credit report?
AnnualCreditReport.com is the ONLY authorized source for the free annual credit report that’s yours by law. The Fair Credit Reporting Act guarantees you access to your credit report for free from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — every 12 months. The Federal Trade Commission has received complaints from consumers who thought they were ordering their free annual credit report, and yet couldn’t get it without paying fees or buying other services. TV ads, email offers, or online search results may tout “free” credit reports, but there is only one authorized source for a truly free credit report.
The three major credit reporting agencies are:
There is usually a charge of $8.50 to obtain your credit report directly through the reporting agencies. You can receive a free copy of your credit report if you have been recently denied credit, if you are receiving public benefits or if you are unemployed but seeking a job.
How do I pay off old debts on my credit report?
The credit-reporting agency that supplied your credit report can give you phone numbers or addresses for the creditors that you owe. Contact that creditor and try to work out a payment arrangement. CCCS of Greater Greensboro can also help you thrugh a Debt Management Program.
How can I get incorrect information off of my credit report?
You can write a letter to explain the situation or fill out the dispute form enclosed when you receive your credit report. Remember to attach copies of any documentation that you have such as a receipt of payment. The credit-reporting agency will investigate your dispute and respond back to you within 30 days.
Should I believe ads that claim to clear up my credit report or erase bad credit?
NO! Only time and effort on your part will improve your credit report. This service will cost you money and cannot do anything that you cannot do yourself.
- Accurate information, good or bad will stay on your credit report for seven years to ten years.
- Bankruptcy will stay on for 10 years.
- Judgments will stay on for ten years and can be renewed to stay on longer.
Remember if you have questions or concerns a credit counselor at CCCS will be happy to sit down and review your credit report. We will help you devise the most productive way to pay off old debts and reestablish your credit.