The Benefits of Understanding Your Credit Report and Score

by Ryan Yates

Understanding Your Credit Report and Score

Know the benefits to understanding your credit report?

It is financially responsible to know your credit score and to know exactly what details are in your credit report.

One month ago I received a letter in the mail from my credit card company. It politely notified me that my recent credit card application did not match my current address listed on my account.

The problem was that because I was committed to staying out of credit card debt, I hadn’t filled out a credit card application in over two years!

I immediately called the number listed in the letter and found out that someone in California was trying to open a credit card in my name (I live in Texas). Yikes! This was the first hint of identity theft that I had ever been a part of. Needless to say it was unnerving.

I called the credit bureau immediately, notified them about the situation, and put a customer fraud alert on my credit report. The fraud alert stops any and all credit applications from being processed for 90 days (or until verified by me).

Keely, the fraud specialist who became my new best friend, recommended that I get a copy of my credit report to make sure no other unfamiliar credit inquiries had been made. Thank you Keely! I found out there were 2 other credit inquiries on my report due to 2 other fraudulent credit card applications!!

I quickly contacted those companies and halted the application process. In about 3 days, the crisis was over. (I consider myself extremely lucky because identity theft doesn’t always end this quickly or quietly)

[Disclaimer: I am not using scare tactics to motivate you to action like so many financial commercials. I am simply sharing my experience in hopes that you might learn from my misfortune]

Reading and Understanding Your Credit Report

I began to read through my full credit report and noticed a few other things that needed to be dealt with. I found a few inquiries that were doubled up and I found a few remarks about 30-day and 60-day late payments that were incorrect.

I called Keely at TransUnion (I still had her extension) and she directed me to inform TransUnion about all of the incorrect items I had discovered. It turns out that I didn’t need to hire a credit repair company.

I simply informed TransUnion about the incorrect inquiries and remarks and within three weeks every wrong item was removed. My credit score jumped 22 points as a result.

Why is Understanding Your Credit Report so Beneficial?

  • You will know first-hand exactly what information is listed on your report.
  • You’ll know what the creditors know, and you will be prepared against credit bullies who try to belittle your financial situation.
  • You will see any negative remarks and therefore have an opportunity to fix the cause before it hurts your score too badly. If you don’t know about the negative stuff, then how can you try to fix it?
  • You will have the upper hand against fraudulent inquiries, and you will be better guarded against identity theft.
  • Other people make mistakes from time to time. Reading your credit report will allow you to make sure all the information listed on your report is current and accurate.

Understanding Your Credit Score

No one wants to be in the loan office of a car dealership when they find out their credit score is below average. But most consumers are still caught off guard when it comes to knowing their magical 3-digit number.

A high credit score will usually get you a better chance at loan acceptance and a lower interest rate. A low score, however, might cause a house to become too expensive for you to afford, even in this era of low housing prices.

Or worse yet, a low credit score might stop your purchase in its tracks because the company you’re dealing with decides not to take a risk on you. Fair or not, that’s how the credit game works.

If you know your credit score before you enter the negotiation arena (and it’s a Good to Excellent score), you stand a better chance at coming out ahead. If you find out your credit score is in bad shape, you can spend the next 6-12 months repairing your credit.

Good credit has the potential of saving you thousands of dollars in interest.

Boosting Your Credit Score

If you pay off your credit card balance every month, you’re definitely displaying wisdom and financial responsibility. But there are a few other ways to improve your credit score:

  • Pay your bills before the due date – if you pay your balance before the end of the cycle, you can lower your utilization rate.
  • Make multiple payments on your credit cards – this helps pay down your balance quicker and you use less of your overall available credit
  • Request a Goodwill Deletion – you might get one or two slightly negative remarks expunged from your record if your credit history is otherwise good.

Whether you are fighting identify theft or just making sure your info is accurate, becoming familiar with your credit report and credit score will be of great benefit. Being proactive about your credit history will put you in charge of your most important information.

Continue to educate yourself on credit safety and debt reduction. The more you know, you more stable your financial future will become.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike Young July 4, 2011 at

It’s a good idea to check your credit reports once per year for free @ annualcreditreport.com.

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Derekgex November 14, 2016 at

Ways To Make Money At Home If You Are Disabled And Unable To Work http://alipotec.ga

If you’re unfortunate enough to be somebody that is unable to work a regular job as a result of an illness or even an accident, you understand how frustrating it could be emotionally, financially, and physically. When a motor vehicle accident left me with chronic pain that’s so bad that I was unable to return doing its job a supervisor with a Mail Transport Equipment Company, I knew that there was no way I would be able to settle the bills by sitting home not working. I knew that the chronic pain left me physically can not do the things I used to do everyday, like driving a forklift, moving trailers using a Yard Dog, and lifting mail equipment. And it would take many pages to clarify the emotional toll which it took on me.

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The first and easiest thing we did was start with going through the shop and garage and finding items that we didn’t need, but merely kept around because there was never did anything with these. If you’ll be able to find enough things, you will get who you are a garage sale. There are many folks available that need to find a great deal and it seems to become true that one man’s trash is an additional man’s treasure. I can’t inform you the amount of things that I thought moves directly to the trash, but we place them in our sale and they also sold!

If you don’t find enough things to have a very yard or garage sale, another option is usually to sell some of the things you find on Craigslist and even any local paper. More and more people are trying to find used things due to economy, and if you need to old microwave or playstation or another electronics, they sell pretty easily most of the time through classifieds, in any local paper or online.

You can also sell anything you find on Ebay. There are people around the globe designed to use Ebay, and a few issues that couldn’t survive appealing to someone in the United States, a person from another country sooo want to find on Ebay. I sold several things on Ebay when I became disabled and i’m happy to report a large part of the things that I sold went of the united states. One of the things I found that sold more to the people out of the United States when compared to the U.S. were Stampin’ Up items. Some from the countries lack usage of these products, and so are glad to pay for to own them shipped overseas for many years. It is also a market of thousands of people, where your neighborhood paper or Craigslist is much more community based having a much smaller group of people.

Many people on disability have no idea of this, actually I was one of these, but while you are saved to disability one other way that you could make money has taken an important part time job should you are capable of work even short amounts of time. I had understood that you might not work and collect Social Security Disability, but that is not correct. They do allow you to generate a specific amount of income and attempt to collect your monthly check. You are required to tell the SSA(Social Security Administration) if you begin to be effective, then when you are doing, they are going to inform you how much you can create yet still keep your disability pay. So that is the one other option to make money during disability.

Another was is just not so much earning money but by saving cash. And a few in the solutions to save some financial resources are by clipping coupons in your Sunday paper, and by looking on the web for them. There are many sites which have coupons on just about anything you buy for the household. Whether it is for food you buy, cleaning supplies, bathroom items such as toothpaste or hairspray, it will save you alot of greenbacks by simply finding the time to clip and redeem coupons. If you have 10 coupons plus they are all a savings of 75 cents, that is a savings of $7.50. It won’t pay all the invoices in one trip to a shop, but any time you rely on them, it’s only one other way to spend less, and not having to spend that cash it will save you, you truly are creating wealth in so doing.

If you are disabled however able to spend time at your personal computer, another way you may make some funds are by using the internet. There are many ways to do that. You can start an online business selling different products, assist affiliate marketing, doing surveys, and that is a few of the opportunities available online. Taking surveys doesn’t always make you profit quickly, however it is one way to generate something to aid pay the bills. And there a never-ending number of survey sites available that supply different amounts of cash to consider their surveys, anywhere from $.50 for a couple minutes of their time approximately longer surveys that can pay up to $50.

Once again, you might not amass wealth by doing the surveys, but sometimes it is nice only to see money coming in that can help. Affiliate marketing is selling people’s offerings and having a share in the sale. There are numerous products offered to promote in the event you decide you won’t want to sell your own product, and depending on how well you advertise or promote the item you decide on with internet affiliate marketing, you are able to sometimes might a great income.

Another way of needing an online business if you are disabled or struggling to work out of your home is starting your own internet business. There are numerous online marketing companies that offer web space as well as other tools you should get started without having to pay for for them. If you don’t have a product of your individual in promoting or sell, you can promote the merchandise that they can offer, and some will pay you to sell the merchandise or service they may be offering by referring others to perform the same thing. This is also another type of online marketing that you could generate income with.

So in the event you have grown to be disabled and cannot work overseas, these are simply a few of the techniques I was able to make money without leaving my home. Whether you clip coupons, possess a garage sale or start an internet business, being on disability doesn’t keep you from gaining access to least handful of income entering your family. Although becoming disabled will often cause emotional roller coasters of feeling up and then down, being capable to contribute for some reason can on occasion take the a feeling of helplessness away.

While the car wreck that left me with chronic pain took away my ability to do the things I was able to do before, a very important factor it did not eliminate was my ability to become creative in finding other ways to assist look after our kids. And that could be a big plus for a few of the emotions that sometimes feature creating a disability.

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