Understanding Your Credit

What Does Your Credit Report Say About You?

Shockingly, many people have never seen their Credit Report! Not knowing what your credit report says about your finances may cost you more when trying to obtain a mortgage. Even those who pay everything on time might have an unaddressed credit issue that is hurting their credit! It is very common for incorrect information to be reported on your Credit Report and it is important to identify any issues and correct them before you apply for a mortgage.

Many of you have seen “Free Services” advertised on T.V., The Internet, and through the Radio. When you see an offer for a “Free Credit Report”, IT’S NOT FREE and generally gives you a little information to get you to sign up for their services! However, under federal law, you have the right to obtain a free and secure Credit Report at www.annualcreditreport.com. The top three credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are required by law to provide you with a free annual credit report, once a year.

Your credit report comes down to a few important questions

What is your credit score?

Your credit score is a numerical representation of your trustworthiness in paying back debt. Each bureau will present you with a credit score based on the data they have.

What is reported?

The items that are reported on your credit report include:

Credit Cards

Department store cards
Gas cards
Bank cards
Airline cards

Installment Loans

Mortgage loans
Auto loans
Student loans
Rent (sometimes)
Collections or judgements

What does your history look like?

Credit history is a record of the “health” of each reporting credit line. Your credit score is created from the list below. Account Variety means having a diverse set of account types, installment, mortgage, revolving, etc… New Credit can show up from employment screening, utility providers, insurance related inquires, and other credit inquiries.

Don’t worry!

Credit issues will not haunt you forever when you actively try to improve your credit. Lenders know that “life circumstances” happen such as illness, divorce, loss of job or accidents. The key is to show the lender that prior to the life circumstance you showed responsible use of credit and that after the life circumstance you re-established your credit. As you add new information to your report the old information ages. Scores will change gradually, as you change the way you handle credit.

Remember the older the trade line (credit), the less impact it has on your scores.

Credit report problems?

Fixing credit reporting issues , such as incorrect collections showing up, late payments showing up when paid on time, active accounts that are closed, can be fixed. The key is to identify any issues and work toward having them corrected. If you want to take action, the first step would be to call the bureaus at:

Equifax- 1-800-685-1111 or go to www.equifax.com
Experian- 1-888-397-3742 or go to www.experian.com
TransUnion- 1-800-916-8800 or go to www.transunion.com

Synergy Mortgage Group