Confusing Credit Reports

If you've ever gotten a copy of your credit report, you know they can be hard to understand.

So Consumer Reports wants to help.

When Edmonia Glover found out you should get your credit report once a year, she ordered hers right away.

But she wasn't prepared for the size of the package she got in the mail.

Instead it was a 20 page document of financial information that spanned decades.

Consumer Reports' Norma Garcia says reading a credit report can be a bit overwhelming, but you need to make sure all the information's accurate. It's estimated one in four reports have serious mistakes.

First, check your personal information like your name, social security number, and date of birth.

Next make sure the addresses listed are accurate.

Then look over the list of creditors.

Consumer Reports says there are other steps you can take to improve your credit standing.

Sign up for automatic bill payment to reduce the chance of making a late payment.

Time your spending, don't run up a lot of bills right before you apply for a car loan or mortgage.

And limit the number of credit cards you apply for. That's because each time a lender checks your credit history, it lowers your rating.

Now that Edmonia knows the importance of keeping her credit in good standing, she says she's going to make a point to get her credit report once a year.

If you find mistakes with your report, contact the credit bureau online or in writing.

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