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Consumer Credit Information

 

How Lender's Evaluate a Credit Report

 

Credit Repair: Self Help May Be Best  

(from the FTC)

 

Contact the Credit Bureaus

 

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Just because you have a poor credit report doesnít mean you wonít be able to get credit. Creditors set their own credit-granting standards and not all of them look at your credit history the same way. Some may look only at more recent years to evaluate you for credit, and they may grant credit if your bill-paying history has improved. It may be worthwhile to contact creditors informally to discuss their credit standards.

If you canít resolve your credit problems yourself or you need additional help, you may want to contact a credit counseling service. There are non-profit organizations in every state that counsel consumers in debt. Counselors try to arrange repayment plans that are acceptable to you and your creditors. They also can help you set up a realistic budget. These counseling services are offered at little or no cost to consumers. You can find the office nearest you by checking the white pages of your telephone directory.

In addition, nonprofit counseling programs sometimes are operated by universities, military bases, credit unions, and housing authorities. Theyíre also likely to charge little or nothing for their services. Or, you can check with your local bank or consumer protection office to see if it has a list of reputable, low-cost financial counseling services.

Do-It-Yourself Check-Up
Even if you donít have a poor credit history, itís a good idea to conduct your own credit check-up, especially if youíre planning a major purchase, such as a home or car. Checking in advance on the accuracy of the information in your credit report could speed the credit-granting process.

Youíre entitled to one free report a year if you can prove that:

  1. youíre unemployed and plan to look for a job with 60 days;
  2. youíre on welfare; or
  3. your report is inaccurate because of fraud.

Otherwise, a credit bureau may charge you up to $8 for a copy of your report.

Credit bureaus usually are listed in the yellow pages of your telephone book under "credit reporting agencies." Three large national credit bureaus supply most credit reports: TRW, Equifax, and Trans Union. You may want to contact each of them for a copy of your report.

 

Experian (formerly TRW)
P.O. Box 949
Allen, TX 75013
(888) EXPERIAN (397-3742)

Equifax
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
(800) 685-1111
Trans Union
760 West Sproul Road
P.O. Box 390
Springfield, PA 19064-0390
(800) 916-8800

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