About Credit Reports: What you really need to know

In an effort to simplify the whole credit report shebang and provide a starting point, here’s some advice I posted on LifeHacker.com earlier today.

What about your credit report? It’s out there and you’re wondering what it looks like and how it will appear to a prospective Lender. Maybe you’re preparing for the big home purchase sometime next year and you want to have all your ducks in a row. Perhaps you’re worried about identity theft or you’ve had problems in the past because your Dad, whose first and last names you share, has credit accounts appearing on your report. Or you’re just getting started building a credit history.

Whatever the reason, you want to know and you want to know now. And, once you know what your report looks like, what do you do to correct mistakes or increase your score?

The latest fashion seems to be for consumers to focus tremendous amounts of time and energy checking and protecting their credit history. Franky, I think all this energy being expended on credit reports is nonsense, but what do I know? I’ve only been looking at them for seventeen years!

In an effort to simplify the whole credit report shebang and provide a starting point, here’s some advice I posted on LifeHacker.com earlier today:

1. You can get a free report once a year from each of the three bureaus:
http://www.annualcreditreport.com

2. If you check your report and discover mistakes, fix them yourself. NEVER pay anyone to do this. The Federal Trade Commission has an excellent tutorial to guide you through the process of credit repair:
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/repair.htm

3. Want to know how your credit score is calculated? Try MyFico.com:
http://www.myfico.com/CreditEducation/?fire=1

4. If you have superb credit, consider opening a credit card with a bank based in the state of Arkansas. The reason most credit card companies base their operations in either Delaware or South Dakota is the law does not provide for an interest rate cap. Arkansas has a very reasonable cap, which in the 16 years I’ve known about it, has made credit cards from that state the best deal around. Once you’ve got an Arkansas credit card, transfer your balances from thos Delaware and S.D. cards and begin saving money on interest!

5. If you had problems before or you’re new to the credit card arena, ConsumerAction is one of the best resources I’ve found on the ‘net for advice on rebuilding or starting anew a credit history:
http://www.consumer-action.org/

6. I think the subscription services provided by the credit bureaus is a waste of money and time. You really don’t need to be alerted every month about your credit report. If you pay your bills on time, use your credit wisely, then you really shouldn’t need to worry about your credit score because it will be excellent.

You can access these websites directly from my homepage, tcurranmortgage.com on the “Links” page.