Reasons For Checking Your Credit Report

By Zaithyn Galter Published 10/11/2008 | Business and Finance
Your credit report and score tells lenders whether or not you are a good risk for a loan. Your credit history, payments, and account information are on this report. Your FICO score is also an important factor for lenders. The information contained in your credit report is used to generate your FICO score which acts as your credit "report card". A FICO score is not the same as your regular credit scores. It uses different set of rules & algorithms for coming up with your credit score. And many lenders utilize the FICO score to determine your creditworthiness. Therefore it may be prudent to see what's on your FICO score as well before applying for a loan.

Often the information contained in your credit report has some inaccuracies. This is why it's important to check your credit report on a regualr basis. At least once a year to ensure that the information is correct and up to date.

Reasons you should check your credit report include:

Basic Inaccuracies
 Payments that's have been made, but not credited to you. Late payments or having someone elses date (especially if the names are similar) being mixed in with yours. If you notice inaccurate information, you must contact the credit reporting agency to get the mistake corrected.

Tracking Payments
 Many times, checks sent through the mail do not reach the accounting office of the company on time, or get lost in the mail. Such late or missed payment issues could be posted on your credit file. Therefore you would need to correct this information by contacting the creditor. If you dont read your credit report, you will not know which payments have been received and properly reported.

Identity Theft
 Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in thw U.S. It's one that has caused people to have poor credit ratings because someone has received credit or loans in their name and defaulted on the payments. Your credit report will show you the list of accounts that have been opened in your name. Check them carefully to ensure they match your personal financial details.

 Your credit report will list the names of companies or persons who have requested information regarding your credit history. Read them carefully to make there's no fraudulent activity and/or unauthorized entry that could be related to id theft. Also, too many inquiries are seen as unfavorable by lenders and will make it harder to obtain loans.

Credit Fraud Unauthorized Charges
 Credit fraud involves the unauthorized use of your credit cards or account number to make charges on your account. Sometimes this is done so subtly that you do not notice the extra charges on your monthly statement. By viewing your credit report, you will be able to catch new activity on your accounts, especially if they are ones you havent been using.

When it comes to managing your credit worthiness, your credit report is your best resource. Viewing your credit report gives you the opportunity to manage your credit wisely. While planning a credit strategy to achieve future goals, you should regularly review your credit report to ensure an excellent credit rating.

Free Credit Report Services
 Free credit report services are not created equal. With some services, you're able to see what's on your credit report and score from all 3 major credit bureaus online - TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. This is important because the data contained in one credit bureau file may not match what's on the others. Also, various lenders may choose to see one or more of your credit files. So it makes sense to obtain the most comprehensive report. And most services do not provide a free FICO score. You only get to see what's on your regular credit scores. These are some of the reasons why it makes sense to do your homework and make comparisons between the features they provide.

Sean Patrick is an expert on online consumer finance products such as free credit reports, loans, etc. For more information visit -