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Is Your Credit Report Accurate?

If you're thinking about buying a house or car, applying for a credit card, or even purchasing insurance, you’ll want to be sure your credit report is accurate. A credit report is a record of your credit history. Although your individual credit score is not part of your credit report, obtaining a report has potential to impact your score.

Here’s how you can help make sure your credit report is accurate.

Understand the role of credit bureaus.

Many lenders rely on a credit-scoring system that ranges from 850 (excellent credit risk) to 350 (poor credit risk). The system is based on more than 30 pieces of information tracked by three primary credit bureaus — TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. This credit information is collected and compiled to provide lenders a quick, objective and reliable predictor of how likely you are to repay your next loan on time.

Request a free copy of your credit report.

You can download one free copy of your credit report every 12 months from or request one from any of the three credit reporting bureaus.

Examine your report for errors.

A credit report does not typically include your credit score, but it will allow you to review information like your payment history and the amount you owe your creditors.

Doing these three things can help you manage your credit and improve your chances for lower interest rates in the future.

Remember, the formula used to calculate a credit score may vary slightly between credit bureaus, but they typically consider payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, credit mix and new credit.

Lori Tutt
By Lori Tutt, GM Financial

From cars and movies to great works of literature, Lori Tutt has a passion for the classics. She’s never claimed to be good with numbers but can readily find the right words to describe money matters like budgets, investments and understanding credit. And when she’s stressed, she turns it around with desserts (or clever wordplay).


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