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How to Read a Credit Report

On Behalf of | Feb 11, 2014 | Consumer Protection

With the start of the new year just about one month behind you,
making the decision to address your credit report in 2014 is as
easy as requesting a copy of your own.  Visit for a free
copy of your report
and keep reading to learn how to understand
what is on your
.  Reading your report may seem overwhelming at
first, but after a basic lesson about what is included in your
report reading the information will be easier than it

First, your report will include your personal information.
When reviewing this section of your report, you want to make sure
all of your information is accurate, including your full name,
address, social security number, employment, etc.  Understand
that variations of your personal information may exist on your
report, but the current information should be accurate.

The majority of your report is made up of account
information.  In the Account Information section of your
report, you will find all of the accounts you currently have as
well as some of your old accounts that may no longer be
active.  Each account will be broken up into categories
including negative accounts, accounts in good standing and public
records.  Some
credit reporting agencies
also have a category for collection
accounts.  Under each category will be a tradeline or an
individual account and information on the account.  Account
information will include, the name of the creditor, the date the
account was opened (and closed if the account is no longer active),
the type of account, your highest balance and/or credit limit, your
payment status and payment history.  When reading through each
tradeline, make sure the information reported for each account is
accurate, even if the account is negative, make sure the balance is
accurate, the date of last payment,

Your Report will also contain a section for inquiries.
Here you will find a list of all of the companies
that have reviewed your report over the last two years.
While you may be concerned about the great number of companies
taking a peek at your personal information, first you need to
understand that there are two types of inquiries, soft and
hard.  Soft inquiries are those that are for promotional
purposes or for pre-approved credit offers and these companies do
not see your full report and are not included in calculating your

credit score
.  Hard inquiries are pulls of your report by
companies with which you apply for credit or pulls by collection
agencies.  Hard inquiries do affect your score and these
companies will receive a complete copy of your

Your report will also include a section for Public
Records.  This category includes any bankruptcies you may have
filed, judgments, tax liens and collection accounts.  These
types of account remain on your credit file for a period of seven
to ten years.  Review the information to make sure it is
accurately report with correct dates so that it does not remain on
your credit file for longer than necessary.

If you are in need of assistance with
your credit report
contact SmithMarco P.C. for a completely free case review.