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How to Read Credit Reports
First, understand that the credit report your bank receives will be different from the “consumer oriented” credit report you’ll get when you access your own files.
Consumer oriented credit reports are longer and contain more detailed information, making it easier for consumers to learn how to read their own credit reports.
A credit report is divided into 4 categories of information: identifying information, credit history, public records and inquiries.
Those are signs of identity theft and should be investigated.
Your credit history is of prime importance to creditors. This section will include:
Some credit reports show timeliness as a letter or number, others tell it in plain English: “Pays as agreed,” “30 days late”, “charged-off,” etc. If your report shows a letter or number, look for the “legend” to see what each means.
Public records lists bankruptcies, judgments and tax liens.
Only hard inquiries affect your credit score.
Take the time to read and learn how to read credit reports, so that you can spot mistakes quickly and put a stop to identity theft if your accounts have been compromised.
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