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Credit - Head Matters


3. Explain the Factors that Affect Creditworthiness and the Purpose of Credit Records

d.    How to Understand and Check Your Credit Report (continued)

Report information: the credit reporting agency What to watch for in this section
Name: Experian
Address: Company’s contact address and phone number
Report or File Number: 2818573907
Report Date: 03/12/2009
If you see an error on your report, use the name and address to contact the credit reporting agency. Include the File Number and Report date on any communication.

Identifying information: your identification What to watch for
Name: John Q. Doe, John Doe, Jonathan Quentin Doe, J.Q. Doe

Address: 123 Fifth Drive
Anytown, Anystate 12345
Phone: 303-555-1234
Former Addresses Reported:
345 6th Place, Anytown, Anyplace 45678
456 7th Ave., Anytown, Anyplace 98765

Social Security Number: 123-45-6789

Date of birth: 03/17/1985

 Spouse’s First Name: Jane

Present Employer and Address:
ABC & Associates
987 Main St., Anytown, Anystate 12345
Former Employers and Addresses:
DEF Inc., 987 Second Drive, Anytown, Anystate 54321
GHI Corp., 111 Third Drive, Anytown, Anystate 99999

Make sure these are names you have used. If there are any names you haven’t used, make sure to check the accounts to ensure your records don’t include information about someone else.

Verify that the current address and phone number are correct. Watch out for incorrect addresses. This may be a sign that identity theft has redirected your mail to an incorrect address. Are the Social Security Number and birth date correct?

If you’re divorced and your ex-spouse is still listed, your ex-spouse’s credit could have an impact on your credit.

Verify that the employer, address and phone number information is correct.

Credit Information includes specific details about your credit cards, student loans, and other loans. This information includes the date opened, credit limit or loan amount, balance, and monthly payment. The report also shows your payment history during the past several years and the names of anyone else responsible for paying the account, such as a spouse or co-signer. Late payments, skipped payments, accounts turned over to a collection agency, and repossessions appear here. This information comes from companies with which you do business.

Credit information: payment history What to watch for
Potentially Negative Items

Address: PO Box 155, Dover, DE 19850
Account Number: 908188898
Status: Open/past due 60 days. $35 past due as of 7-2006
Status details: as of 5-2011, this account is scheduled to go to a positive status.
Date opened: 5/2003
Reported since: 5/2003
Date of status: 7/2014
Type: Revolving
Monthly payment: 151
Responsibility: Joint
Credit limit: $1,500
High Balance: $1,898
Recent balance: $1,898 as of 05/15/2009
Recent payment: $115

AAA Preferred Visa
Address: PO Box 112, Denver, CO 80231
Account Number: 389992888
Status: account charged off/past due 180 days. $9,452 written off in 4-2005.
Status details: this account is scheduled to continue to record until 1-2014
Date opened: 5/2003
Reported Since: 5/2003
Date of status: 7/2008
Type: Revolving
Monthly payment: $57
Responsibility: Individual
Credit Limit: $10,000
High Balance: $12,008

Public record information:
Type: Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Status: Filed
Date File/Reported: 02/2008
How filed: Individual Account
Reference #: 11-10-25
Closing Date: 3/15/2009
Court: County Court
Liability: $75,000
Exempt amount: $2,000
Asset amount: $25,000
Negative Items are those that a creditor may count toward bad credit. These include accounts that are or have been past due or written off.

Make sure these account numbers are yours and that the information is correct.

Note “past due” charges.

Note that High Balance indicates a balance that is over the credit limit.

Status Details tells when you information will be removed from your credit report.

Again, balance above credit limit.
Make sure that any information in the Public Record section is yours and not someone else’s.

Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy stays on your credit report for 10 years.

Inquiries include the names of those who obtained a copy of your credit report and how often you have applied for credit in the past two years. When you order a credit report, you may also see the names of companies that have reviewed your report for “preapproved” credit offers . However, these names will not be given to creditors who request a copy of your report. Creditors only see the inquiries you initiate by applying for a new credit card, for example.

You may have a section on your report that lists your credit cards and other lenders. This is a great resource to use to contact your creditors if you believe they have made an error.

Inquiries and creditor information   What to watch for
Creditor Name
Bureau Bank
Credit Card Company
Mortgage Lender
Date of Inquiry

Check to see if you have a lot on inquiries. This may affect your creditworthiness.
Creditor Name
A Bank Credit
Box 155, Dover, DE 19850
Box 112, Denver, CO 80231
Box 2, New York, NY 10021 By Mail Only
Phone Number
 Phone or write to your creditor if you see problems or have questions about an account.

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