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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 good credit.

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.

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 payment information.
  • 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.
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.

Get Your Online 3-in-1 Credit Report