Behind the Credit Card Scene: Your Credit Report
What are the credit reports? Why should I always check it when applying for a credit card or a loan? What can I find in my credit reports? These are the common questions when it comes to credit reports not saying that most people confuse credit reports with credit scores.
Credit report is a record of loans, credit cards, payments and outstanding debts, whereas credit score is a three digit number between 300 and 850.
The information in your credit reports is supplied by companies that have given you credit or loaned you money. The companies, or lenders, give regular reports (usually once a month) about your credit accounts to the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies (credit bureaus). And the bureaus collect this information and keep it in their databases and provide it to lenders when you apply for a new credit card or loan. Credit reporting bureaus do not make lending decisions.
Lenders use credit reports to decide if you are creditworthy and responsible enough to handle additional credit. Your credit report should contain:
- Payment information – your current and past payments are recorded, including the information whether your payments have been on time or late.
- Balances – all the balances on your credit cards, including outstanding balances, and the amounts of your loans.
- Personal information – all your personal data including information from public record, like bankruptcy or overdue taxes.
- Overdue child support payments.
- History of inquiries –the names of everyone who recently asked for a copy of your credit report.
Under the Federal law, every a year you can get a free copy of your credit report from the three biggest credit bureaus. These credit bureaus are: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. These three companies have one central website (annualcreditreport.com) where you can get the free annual credit reports from each of them. You can request your reports online, by phone at 1-877-322-8228 or by mail.
You should check your credit reports at least once a year to make sure there are no inaccurate records and that no one is opening up accounts in your name.
To order your reports you will need to supply the credit bureaus with your personal information so they can identify you. This usually includes your Social Security number, your full name, as well as current address and previous address.
Many people who apply for a credit are denied because of lack of credit history. Without credit history, the lenders find it hard to determine if you are good credit risk and often deny applications. So if you’ve never had credit, or haven’t used credit in a long time, you can begin to build a credit history right now.
Latest Credit Card Issuers News
Wells Fargo & Company has recently announced the release of tap-to-pay contactless consumer credit and debit cards. Wells Fargo cardholders are already familiar with the advantages of digital wallets and are involved in paying for purchases and initiating ATM transactions by means of their mobile phones, while tap-to-pay cards are something new.
Dog-lovers can get checks or credit cards printed with pictures of adorable pups. If you’d rather be at the beach, you can carry a credit card picturing the waves and sand. And now sports fans can order a new credit card with the logo of their favorite teams and players.
Loyal JetBlue customers have another reason to use Chase credit cards: the banking giant and credit card issuer has announced that the JetBlue TrueBlue loyalty program is the newest Chase Ultimate Rewards partner, and cardholders will now be able to redeem their reward points for travel on the airline.
Good news for American Express Platinum cardholders who live or travel in the Denver area: American Express has just announced plans to add a Centurion lounge to the Denver International Airport (DIA). And it will be huge—over 14,000 square feet—making it the second-largest Centurion lounge location.
The Walt Disney Company and Chase Card Services recently announced that they will continue their longstanding relationship, extending their co-branded Disney Visa Card, Disney Premier Visa Card and Disney Visa Debit Card programs in a multi-year agreement.