HOW TO GET, READ & UNDERSTAND YOUR CREDIT REPORT

Everyone is entitled by law to a free copy of their credit report from each of the three credit bureaus once every 12 months free of charge, or you can buy a credit report from each of the three bureaus if you want to view your report more often; it's roughly $10 per copy from each bureau.
The three large U.S. credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — were required by a 2003 federal law to set up AnnualCreditReport.com as a central online resource for report requests.
You can also request your reports by calling 877-322-8228 or by downloading a request form and mailing it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
NOTE: This report will NOT include your score.  The most reliable place to pull a copy of your credit report with your score is MyFico.com; and it is not free.
 
Upon visiting AnnualCreditReport.com, users are directed to a form page and asked to provide personal identifying information, including name and address, Social Security number and date of birth.
 
After submitting your basic information, you go to a page allowing you to select reports from the three large credit bureaus by checking boxes next to the Equifax, Experian and TransUnion logos. You can select one or all of the credit bureaus. Instructions discuss whether you should review all three reports immediately, or whether you should spread the requests over a period of time. TIP:  Do not close out of the credit report once pulled up; either save it or print it. The moment you close it you will not have access to it again and will be required to pay for another one
The next step is designed to verify your identity. A page of questions appears about your creditors, loan terms or other details on the credit report that you're expected to know. You need to select the correct answers get access to the credit report; if you answer any of them incorrectly you will need to mail in your request for a credit report with proof of your identity – state ID, social security card; etc. After requesting one report, you may return to the main site to repeat the process with another credit bureau.
Many consumers have a difficult time understanding their credit reports and piecing the three reports together, so here are examples and explanations of the most common elements that appear in each of the three free credit bureau reports.
A credit report is divided into four sections: identifying information, credit history, public records and inquiries.
Personal information
Name: JOE Q. CONSUMER
Other names: CONSUMER, JOSEPH Q.
Report number: XXXXXXX
Report date: July 4, 2013
SSN: XXX-XX-6789
Date of birth: 04/1965
Date of birth: 04/1965
Telephone number(s): 555-1212
CURRENT ADDRESS:
123 MAIN ST., NEW YORK, NY 12345
PREVIOUS ADDRESSES:
17 BROOKLYN AVE., LONG ISLAND, NY 56789
EMPLOYMENT DATA REPORTED
Employer name:CREDITCARDS.COM
Location:New York, NY
Date reported:06/2011
Employer name:UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS
Location:TX
Date reported:08/2009

Position:PROGRAMMER
Hired:05/2010

Position:
Hired:03/2003

Public records
ROCKWELL MUNICIPAL Docket#: 9B004875
5468 MLK AVE., SUITE 300, ROCKWELL, TX 97845
Type:Civil judgment
Court type:Municipal
Date paid:07/2008
Assets:$1,089
Date filed:12/2007
Responsibility:Participant on account
Plaintiff:BANK OF TEXAS
Plaintiff attorney:RICHARD PERRY
Amount:$1,089
Estimated date that this item will be removed06/2015
NOTE: This section will only list financial data; no arrests or criminal activities
Adverse accounts, potentially negative items
COLLECTION RECOVERY SVC#321568
123 CHARLES ST.
SUITE 202
CORONA, CA 92877-0137
(909) 898-4424
Balance:$0
Date verified:06/2007
Original balance:$243
Original creditor:SEARS ROEBUCK
Credit limit:$500
Past due:$0
Terms:$72 for 23 months
Pay status:Payment after charge off/collection
Account type:Installment account
Responsibility:Individual account
Date opened:03/2004
Date closed:05/2010
Date paid:05/2010
Remarks: >Paid collection<
Estimated date that this item will be removed:08/2014
DONOVAN & WILSON
1045 MAIN ST., SUITE 105
RIVERSIDE, CA 92501
(909) 781-1248
Balance:$12,745
Date updated:06/2008
Original balance:$15,243
Pay status:120 days
past due
Account type:Revolving account
Responsibility:Individual account
Estimated date that this item will be removed:06/2014
The following item is suppressed pending credit grantor update:
DISCOVER FINANCIAL SVC
#6053000570658798
123 SMITH AVE.
UNIT 55G
WILMINGTON,DE 19850-5316
Phone number not available
Balance:$2,145
Date updated:08/2008
High balance:$25,463
Collateral:2002Chevy:Past due:$136
Terms:$68 for 260 months
Pay status:60 days past due
Account type:Installment account
Responsibility:Individual account
Date opened:11/1998
Loan type:Student loan
Remarks:Repossession
Maximum delinquency of 60 days in 07/2008 for $400
Estimated date that this item will be removed:06/2014
Accounts in good standing, satisfactory accounts
GMAC FINANCING#640006137129
78901 JENKINS CIR
FLOOR 15
MIAMI,FL 33025
Phone number not available
Balance:$1,145
Date updated:08/2013
High balance:$10,000
Collateral:2008 Dodge Ram Credit limit:$10,000
Past due:$0
Terms:$295 for36 months
Pay status:Pays as agreed Account type:Installment account
Responsibility:Individual account
Date opened:11/2009
Date closed:11/2012
Date paid:11/2012
Loan type:Automobile
Remarks:Paid by insurance
Estimated date that this item will be removed:12/2013
Credit history requests
CALTECH EMPLOYEE FCU
555 W. ADAMS
SUITE 202
LA CANADA, CA 91012
(818) 555-1212
Requested on:11/01/2013
Inquiry type:Individual
Permissible purpose:Credit transaction
SUNSHINE APARTMENTS via RENTPORT
678 MARINE STREET
SUITE 999
LOS ANGELES, CA 90210
(818) 555-1212
Requested on:05/01/2013
Inquiry type:Individual
Loan type:Real estate
Loan amount:$90,000
Permissible purpose:Tenant screening
CHASE CARD MEMBER SVCS
666 W. SMITH
PHOENIX, AZ 87853
Phone number not available
Requested on:11/01/2013
Inquiry type:Individual
Personal statement
ID SECURITY ALERT: FRAUDULENT APPLICATIONS MAY BE SUBMITTED IN MY NAME OR MY IDENTITY MAY HAVE BEEN USED WITHOUT MY CONSENT TO FRAUDULENTLY OBTAIN GOODS OR SERVICES. DO NOT EXTEND CREDIT WITHOUT FIRST VERIFYING THE IDENTITY OF THE APPLICANT. I CAN BE REACHED AT 917-555-1212. THIS SECURITY ALERT WILL BE MAINTAINED FOR 90 DAYS BEGINNING 10-29-13.
 
NOTE ABOUT INQUIRIES:

Any time anyone gets into the report, it'll post an inquiry. If you call the credit bureau and ask for a copy, it will be on there. It's a very detailed entry record. It's great for the consumer.
Inquiries are divided into two sections. “Hard” inquiries are ones you initiate by filling out a credit application or taking your child to the orthodontist. “Soft” inquiries are from companies that want to send out promotional information to a pre-qualified group or current creditors who are monitoring your account. The soft inquiries are only shown on reports given to consumers. You may have heard that a large number of inquiries can have a negative impact on your credit score, and that's true.
 
However, the FICO scores have at least a 30-day buffer period where auto and mortgage inquiries are initially bypassed and not counted. It also counts two or more “hard” inquiries in the same 14-day period as just one inquiry.

FIXING MISTAKES:

There's a change you may find a mistake in your credit report. One in five consumers had an error on their credit report from the three major credit bureaus, according to a 2013 government study. One in 20 had an error so bad that it cost them more money on loans or insurance.
If you find a mistake — such as an account that isn't yours or an erroneous amount — you'll need to dispute it with the credit bureau. The reports list a Web address for the credit bureaus' online dispute form; DO NOT USE THIS.
The credit bureaus will investigate your dispute by contacting the creditors, which have 30-45 days to respond to your dispute. The disputed item will show up as disputed on your credit report until it's resolved. If you feel your dispute is not handled well, you can file an online complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which will help facilitate the dispute process.
Common Methods to Dispute A Debt
 
Not mine or not my account.
I didn't pay late that month.
Wrong amount.
Wrong account number.
Wrong original creditor.
Wrong charge-off date.
Wrong date of last activity.
Wrong balance.
Wrong credit limit.
Wrong status – there are over 20 of these.
Wrong high credit – the highest amount you used.

Key things to remember

Be Persistent.

Do not bombard credit bureau with letters about the same debt; they will deem this as frivolous and they will not need to verify or validate the debt
Be Assertive.
 
If professional help is needed; CONTACT ME RIGHT AWAY!!

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