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Credit Report How To's and Other FAQs
Credit Report How To's and Other FAQs
on January 14, 2011
There can be a lot of information on your credit report. If you want to know about each specific section of your report, you can
read one of my other articles
. In the meantime, here are a few frequently asked questions about your credit report.
How often should I check my credit report?
Your credit score is not static. It can change with just one made, late, or missed payment. You should
check your credit report
at least once a year. You should also check whenever you are applying for a loan, if you’ve been denied a loan, or if you suspect you may be a victim of identity fraud.
Why do I have more than one credit score?
You might think you have just one credit report, but you actually get one from each of the three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. This means you also have three credit scores. The reason each score might be different is because not all businesses report to all three bureaus. You may have a lender that reports to just one or two of the companies, and the three bureaus typically do not share your information with each other, thereby resulting in three different scores.
Is there truly a free credit report?
If you’ve seen commercials for FreeCreditReport.com, you probably have one of their jingles stuck in your head. It is true you can get a credit report for free, but not from the website promoted on the commercial. You can get one free credit report from each of the three bureaus by going to
How long does negative information stay on my credit report?
Negative information will stay on your report for a minimum of seven years, and it can stay on longer depending on what type of information it is.
will stay for seven years plus 180 days from the moment it was reported to the credit bureau.
will stay on your report up to ten years, and an unpaid tax lien can stay up to
How can I fix errors on my credit report?
Yes, creditors can make mistakes. You have the right to dispute any information you think is false, thanks to the
Fair Credit Reporting Act
. Submit your dispute in writing to the credit bureau, along with a copy of any proof supporting your claim, such as bills or receipts.
How long do inquiries stay on my credit report?
Whenever you apply for new credit, check your credit, or when a business has made a pull of your credit, an inquiry occurs. A new credit application is a
, and the other situations are soft inquiries. Inquiries stay on your report for two years, and lenders cannot see
on your report.
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