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Poor Credit? Know Your Rights As A Consumer
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Poor Credit? Know Your Rights As A Consumer

Hopefully by now all consumers are aware that they are entitled to a copy of their credit report once per year. This allows the consumer to confirm the accuracy of the information. Your credit report contains the following :

- Personal information: social security number, home address, current employer.

- All open tradelines: includes credit card balances, mortgages, auto loans, etc..

- Inquires: this includes the merchants who have reviewed your credit history

Keep in mind that when reviewing your credit report not all credit bureau agencies use the same terminology. Experian tends to spell everything out in plain text while another may use a numeric system to display overdue lines of credit. When a consumer applies for a loan usually all three credit bureaus are reviewed and the lowest two scores are used to make the credit decision. If you believe a creditor has mistakenly reported you as late you can request the creditor to submit a credit bureau correction to all three bureaus.

A few smart common practices one should be sure to do

Pay on time: know your due dates and try not to use your grace period.

Do not carry balances: life is sometimes unpredictable to say the least but be sure to make a real effort not to carry balances from month to month.

Keep the store cards to a minimum: just because you love a certain department store does not mean you need their credit card. Too many cards don't fare well for your credit report and department store cards tend to have the worst rates.

Never carry more than 40% of your available credit: Some say 50% , I am saying 40% to make a point! If your balances are close to the limit on your credit cards you are deemed as more likely to default and this will be reflected in your score. There is a saying that the best time to apply for credit is when you don't need it.

You can receive a copy of your credit report if you've been denied a loan. This is to confirm that there are zero errors in your report, which if there were, may have prevented you from being approved for the loan you applied for. Always look over your credit information and report errors to the corrosponding creditors. Close any accounts that you no longer use but are open and available on your credit report. Having a copy of your report will give you a good idea of where you stand if you are applying for a mortgage, new vehicle, or any other type of loan.


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