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Why Your Credit Report Is Important To You

Apr 14, 2008
Your credit report is one of the most important documents that anybody can have access to. It ranks right up there with your passport, birth certificate, and medical and criminal records. It is the basis on which companies decide whether or not to give you credit, and if you think you do not need or use credit then think again.

Do you have a credit card? Do you use any form of mail order purchasing. Do you hire anything, such as a TV or a car now and again? Do you want to rent your home, or are you going to need a mortgage? Do you already have a mortgage and want to raise some money on it, such as remortgage in order to add a swimming pool or an extension? Do you intend applying for a new job sometime in the future?

Will you ever need finance to buy a car, trailer or anything else that most people have to pay up over time due to cost? Do you ever want to have a responsible position in a government department, work in a bank or get a license to lend money or have anything whatsoever to do with finance such as taking promotion at work to the finance department? Do you want to change your telephone provider, or arrange a cell phone plan?

I could list a lot more, but with every one of these somebody will likely check up your credit report. It might just be the abbreviated version, in the form of a credit score that takes other aspects of credit into consideration as well as your report, but your credit report is important to you, even if you are unaware of it.

I bet you have never seen it! Nobody seems to worry much about it until they suddenly find that they cannot get credit. The individual or company refusing you has no obligation to provide a reason, but they must tell you what credit reference agency they used. You are then entitled to a copy of your credit report. In the USA it is free, but in the UK you have to pay - it is only a small sum, and there are ways to avoid even that, and get a free annual report as Americans can.

In the USA, if you are refused credit, you are entitled to an immediate free copy of your report from the agencies used by the company refusing you. Even if you have not been refused, you are entitles to a free credit report from the three main credit reporting agencies every year. This is not so in the UK where you can get a free online credit report at any time if you pay an annual registration fee to each agency or single reports for a small sum each.

The three credit agencies are Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, and you can get your free triple credit reports by application to the appropriate body - not the individual agencies. Only one body is authorized to provide you with the triple report: more information on this is given through the link below. Your credit score is a differ matter and you generally have to pay for that.

Many people are given bad credit record through error, mistaken identity or fraud. If you never look at your record you will never know it. You might have had a lodger or paying guest that recorder your address as theirs, and never changed the record. If they go on to have bad debts, your home will be recorded with the record of bad debt, and everybody living in your household will suffer because of it.

If you have sight of your credit record, you could have these entries removed. If you simply state that you are not financially responsible for the person with the bad debts, then the record can be removed. There are other credit laws to protect you, but you must have your credit record to examine.

So get moving and get your credit record. There are people that can help you to get your records put straight, and repair your credit score. Do not be confused by the difference between a credit record and credit score: your score is based on the record, and the more false entries you get off your credit record then the better your credit score will become.
About the Author
For information on how to get your free credit report, and details on how to read and understand it, check out Principal Finance where you will find plenty other useful information on how to improve your credit rating.
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