Know What Creditors
Say About You
Those who have used credit will
have a credit report that shows everything about their payment history,
including late payments.
A history of paying bills late can have a negative impact on your credit
record. Banks and other lenders use credit reports when deciding whether
to loan money. Insurance companies and potential landlords and employers
may also check credit reports. A person's history of paying bills is a
good predictor of how he or she will pay future debts. Creditors generally
look for a two-year history of consistently paying bills on time to establish
A credit report that includes late payments, delinquencies or defaults
could mean not getting a loan or having to pay a higher interest rate
because the borrower has a greater risk of default.
If the issue remains unresolved, you have the right to explain in a statement
that will go on your credit report. For example, if you did not pay a
car repair bill because the mechanic did not fix the problem, the unpaid
bill may show up on your credit report, but so will your explanation.
|Review your credit report at least once a year to make sure all
information is accurate. It is actually recommended to review your
credit report on a quarterly basis (every three months). To learn
what is on your credit report, you can order a copy for a fee from
the following major credit bureaus:
|Since there are three major credit bureaus it is recommended to
get a 3-in-1
Credit Report. This way you can see your credit information
for all three credit bureaus on a single report, and it is important
to do this since all three can have different information about
you. Thus, a 3-in-1
Credit Report is the best way find out about any errors that
might be in your credit reports at the three major credit bureaus.
|Correct any errors you might find on your report by:
- Alerting the credit bureau to the error.
- Sending the credit bureau copies of canceled checks or other
- Explaining the problem in a brief letter. The credit-reporting
agency must investigate your complaint within 30 days and get
back to you with its results.
- Contacting the creditor if the credit bureau disagrees with
you. When you resolve the dispute, ask the creditor to send
the credit bureau a correction.