Nowadays, credit reports have become an essential document to prove your financial status. The information provided on the credit report will serve as a reference for all the financial institutions in view of your credit worthiness. This report provides complete information by compiling the details about the way you have handled your various debts over a period of time.
This report will also provide the current status of your debts that you have accumulated so far, along with your residential address and address of your workplace too. Besides this information, the report will also indicate whether you have applied for bankruptcy, or you if have foreclosed your home or repossessed any vehicle etc. Therefore, in this credit report you can hardly conceal any information regarding your financial status.
How a Credit Report gets all Your Information?
There are business organizations known as credit reporting agencies or credit bureaus, who maintains the credit report of the US citizen. There are three major credit bureaus in the United States of America. They are named as TransUnion, Experian and Equifax.
The companies with whom you do any kind of business or financial transactions agree to provide all kinds of debt information to all these three credit bureaus, who is supposed to update your report on your current credit status. Every month all your loan account records and credit card reports are regularly updated in this credit report by them.
However, there are number of business organizations, which do not send your credit information to these bureaus every month, but in case you fail to clear their account then they report the same to these bureaus. As an example, your bill for cable TV will not be notified to the bureau every month, but in case you have not made the payment for more than 6 months then the bill will be sent to them to be listed in your debt, so that it can be collected from you.
What Kind of information is provided in the Credit Report?
As mentioned above, this report contains basic details of the person, which includes your name, address and place of work. It will also include any misspelling (If any) of your name and also your old addresses of residence and employer in case you have ever changed your residence or employment. This may also sometime happen by error committed by various businesses while reporting your details. Also, this can happen in case of identity theft.
In this credit report all details of credit card balance, your credit limit and your status of account, your account type and the history of payments are included in detail. In case of loan account it will indicate your entire loan balances, your original amount of the loan, and also your total payment history.
Along with all this information, credit reports will also mention about your public records e.g. foreclosure, bankruptcy, tax and repossessions etc, which are usually listed in a different section of this report.
Credit Report also provides a list of those companies, who have very recently checked your current credit history for different reasons. This may be for applying loan or any kind of promotional screening.
These kinds of checks are called inquiries. In case you want to show your version of credit report then your report will show various inquiries made by many other people. Some of the companies may also look at your credit report for their promotional purposes as well. In case any of your lenders take out your credit report then their version of report will also show about various inquiries, which were made when you applied for any kind of loan etc.
Now, the important question is whether it is possible for you to obtain credit report without using your credit card. There are lots of credit crisis cases coming up in the USA and therefore, many consumers are interested to know about this information. Many people in the USA would like to know their present credit score in order to know their current financial standing.
However, there are a few companies, who can share your credit score report free of charge. These companies sometimes offer a free report as a trial offer, which is valid for only seven days. During this short period, you can access your credit score on their website. In case you access your credit score after the stipulated time period you will have to pay the full amount as charges.
Therefore, in order to obtain free credit score report you need to maintain your membership with these companies for a limited period only and thereafter, you must cancel your membership. In this way, you will be able to look at your details free of charge and also you will be able to access the reports of all the three different bureaus.
However, in case you ever apply for a loan then your prospective lender would like to look at the report of all the three bureaus. Therefore, if you are interested to get reports from all the three agencies then you need to pay a certain amount of service charges. Some of the government appointed websites can also offer you the opportunity to view your credit report for free, but you cannot view your credit score.
You might have to know about your credit score quite often. This may be required in case you are planning to take a big loan to purchase something, or you are interested to monitor your current financial status. In such situation, you need to pay for this service. There are few services available, which will provide you all these details any time by charging a monthly fee, which is a very nominal amount. They will also send you a free alert in case there is anything wrong in your report. This will help you to catch any kind of fraudulent activity and it is really worth paying for such services.
You can protect yourself from identity theft by regularly updating yourself with your credit report as well as your credit score.