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How To Discover Your Credit Report And Credit History

By: Jason Markum

Have you ever been turned down for a business loan or a house loan or any kind of loan at all? Have you ever filled out a credit card application that said “pre-approved!” only to receive a letter two weeks later saying that you have been denied credit? Have you ever been turned down for a rent application because of your poor credit?

Have you ever wondered how these people determine what your credit rating is? And have you ever wanted to check your credit report to see why you’ve been turned down for credit or for a loan? If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this article I’m going to talk about your credit report and let you know exactly how to check your own credit history and credit report…

So what exactly is a credit report? Basically it’s a list of all your current outstanding credit as well as any applications for new credit that you have recently submitted. Your credit report can contain lots of different things, not just your credit card bills and things of this nature. Basically anyone that you pay money to can submit a report to the credit agencies. Of course, most companies don’t bother, so we generally see the same sorts of companies doing this.

Besides credit card companies and banks, other companies that may report your credit history include utility companies such as your local water, sewage, or electric company. Cell phone companies quite often make reports to your credit history because most cell phone plans are contracts in which you pay monthly. Telephone companies sometimes report, and cable and satellite dish companies sometimes report as well.

Car companies almost always submit reports to your credit history if you have a loan for a car with them or even if you lease. And your bank or mortgage company will definitely submit credit reports on you either monthly or quarterly. Depending on your landlord, they may report you as well if you rent an apartment. And they will almost always reports you if you miss a payment.

So how do you find out exactly what is in your credit report? The fair credit reporting act guarantees that you can find out the contents of your credit report at any time. If you were denied credit within the past 30 days, which is true for probably most people even if you don’t realize it, then you are entitled to a free credit report.

If you haven’t been denied credit recently but still want to see your credit report, just contact one of the three main credit reporting agencies and they will provide you with a copy of your credit report for a low fee, or sometimes for free. The three main credit reporting agencies are Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.

The fair credit reporting act gives you the right to dispute any items in your credit file that you do not agree with. Errors occur frequently so be sure to check your credit report every three or four months. Common errors include similar naming errors. For instance, if you have the same name as your mother or father then quite often credit reports can be attributed incorrectly. You want to get these things cleared up as quickly as possible.

Being financially responsible means keeping up-to-date with your current credit history. It’s a good idea to get in the habit of checking your credit report every quarter, or the very least once a year. I suggest you check it every year during tax time if not more often. With the Internet, checking your credit history can be done very quickly and easily, and often for free… so there’s no excuse not to check often..

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