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|| Rules For Protecting Your Credit ||
 || Checking Your Credit Report  || Understanding Your Credit Report ||
|| What If There's An Error || What About Fixing Bad Credit ||
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Understanding Your Credit Report

Credit reports are fairly easy to read.They contain information on:

  • You, such as your identification, including your name, address, phone number, date of birth and Social Security number.
  • Employment data, including your current employer and length of employment.
  • Your payment history, the amount(s) you owe creditors, type and terms of credit extended and whether you have repaid it.
  • Inquiries, which tell how many times someone has requested a copy of your credit report within the past year.
  • Public record information such as bankruptcies, foreclosures and tax liens.

Although the three credit reporting bureaus all use slightly different forms, the information is presented in a similar way. Most of the information in a credit report is self-explanatory

There are two types of accounts listed on a report - individual and joint, represented by an "I" or "J". A joint account means that two or more people are liable for payment.

Types of accounts listed are "Installment" (I). where the borrower agrees upon a fixed monthly payment that gradually reduces the balance to zero, "Revolving" (R), where the borrower pays a percentage of the balance monthly and may borrow additional amounts up to the credit limit, and "Open 30-day" (O), where the borrower agrees to pay the full balance of the account each month.