Consumers should monitor their credit reports on a regular basis, or at the very least once a year. The three major credit reporting agencies allow free annual credit reports, which will pull information on the person’s credit history, including closed and open accounts, as well as several other pieces of important information. However, if the person reviewing the report does not know what to look for in the report, significant errors could be easily overlooked.
A credit report is an excellent way for lenders to get a good idea of how the potential borrower handles his or her credit and debts. This information usually is used to determine whether the borrower is a lending risk or a safe option. If something is on the person’s credit report that is not correct, it should be fixed as soon as possible to ensure that the individual’s credit score stays in the good range.
The first thing to view when looking at a credit report is to ensure that all personal information is correct. This information comes from various accounts, as well as public record data. Some common errors with personal information can include an incorrect or incomplete name, as well as an old or incorrect address or phone number. Also, ensure that both the birth date of the individual on the account and Social Security number are correct. Other common errors can include inaccurate or false employment information. These errors can be fairly easy to fix but are also quite easy to overlook.
Other important public record information that will show up on a person’s credit report include any past bankruptcies, liens, foreclosures, collections, or civil lawsuits against the individual. If something shows up that should not be there, this error should be reported immediately. Sometimes if someone who has the same name as the individual on the report has a past judgement, it could mistakenly show up on another person’s credit report. Always report these mistakes as soon as they are discovered.
A large chunk of information within a person’s credit report involves accounts the individual has now or has had in the past. This includes credit accounts, loans, and other installment accounts, including mortgages or car loans. Carefully look through this information to ensure that no unrecognized accounts show up on the credit report. Further, if an account that is closed shows up as open, this error can be and should be quickly fixed. Additionally, if the report shows that the consumer has late payments in his or her history on certain accounts, the individual will want to provide proof to show that, in fact, no payments on that account were missed or late.
Occasionally, someone will use another person’s personal information fraudulently to open utility, phone, or streaming accounts. This information will also show up on the credit report and should be immediately reported.
Lastly, the consumer will want to closely review the inquiries section of the credit report, which shows the companies who have pulled his or her credit report for any lending in the past. If a company shows up that the consumer knows was not authorized to do so, this could be an indication of fraud and should be immediately reported.
It is important that every consumer regularly review his or her credit report to ensure that none of these errors appear, and if they do, they are quickly fixed. The consequences of not doing this can mean being rejected for potential lending and taking a significant hit to the consumer’s credit score. The quicker these mistakes can be identified and fixed, the less likely any of these things will occur.
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If you have questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.