Understanding Your Credit Report - Video

 

Summary: Credit reports can definitely be confusing and not fun to try to figure out. Once you know what's supposed to be in the report you'll better be able to understand it and use it to your advantage. This video shows you how.

The following is the transcript of the video:

Many people find official documents like W2s and tax return forms to be a bit confusing. For these folk, credit reports can be equally confusing. What do all the numbers mean and how do you make sense of it?

The pivotal part of your whole credit report is your FICO score; it should be prominently displayed in any credit report you review. The higher your FICO score, the better interest rates and credit deals you receive. Many people and companies use your FICO score to get an idea of what kind of financial person you are.

The exact format of a credit report will vary, depending upon which credit reporting agency put the report together for you. The first section of the report typically contains all your personal information: Your name, address, birthday, Social Security number, and so on.

The second section of most credit reports contains information that's available to the public like court records, foreclosures, and bankruptcies.

The third section is probably what will catch your eye the most because it contains all your credit payment information. It won't reflect your on-time payments, but it does report on your mistakes and delinquencies. A relatively empty credit payment section means you're probably in pretty good shape.

The fourth section usually contains information on everyone that has inquired into your credit rating, such as a credit card company or bank. This is interesting because it gives others a good idea of who needs to know information about you.

Now that you know what is exactly in your credit report you can better understand how to make sense of it and keep an eye on your all-important FICO score.

For a longer tip related to this subject, see Understanding Your Credit Report

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