Seriously, how are we, the average Joe or Jane on the street, supposed to build (or rebuild) our credit when no one ever teaches what’s on our credit to begin with? Well, here’s the answer:
• Contact information (no impact on credit score): It simply includes the names, addresses, employers, and, sometimes, marital statuses under which you have applied for credit in the past.
• Credit/Trade Lines: Details on the various lines of credit the consumer has had in the past 7-10 years, including balances, terms and their history of on-time payments.
• Public Records: List of court actions, including bankruptcies, judgments, tax liens and possibly evictions over the past 7-10 years
• Inquiries: List of creditors and businesses that have looked at your credit in the past 2 years. Those you authorize as part of an application for credit may impact your score (slightly), while others do not.
• Personal Statement (no impact on credit score): Up to 99 words the consumer may add to their own report. We generally suggest this only be used to clarify report errors.
Since up to 25% of all credit reports contain a significant error (usually in the credit lines or public records section), you should know where to go to dispute and resolve the error. It’s no guarantee, but go directly to the credit bureau’s home pages (EquiFax.com, Experian.com and TransUnion.com) and follow the “Dispute Error” instructions.
If you have any suggestions or stories on how you’ve experienced relief from credit cards and other debt feel free to share in the comment section below. Tips, tricks and other suggestions are always welcome!