Showing posts with label credit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label credit. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

what you'll get free from equifax

Following up on my investigating your credit history for free post; I have now received my credit report back from Equifax. This arrived in the mail 4 business days after I phoned their automated request line. Below is a summary of what the report contains:

4 pages front and back were included.
Section 1 PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION INFORMATION
This contains some personal information that they have on file for you including your prior addresses and a brief employment history. Mine seems to be accurate and complete back to 2002. This section also includes the date that Equifax opened a file on me.

Section 2 CREDIT INQUIRIES ON YOUR FILE
This section first lists Equifax members who have received a copy of my credit file for credit granting followed by a list of authorized parties who wanted their records updated regarding my existing account with them. Very little detail and nothing real shocking here.

Section 3 CREDIT HISTORY
This is the meat of the report as it goes into detail on your account with each creditor. This includes a rating for each, for example R1 meaning 'paid as agreed and up to date'. Information on what your balance was at the time of last reporting, when the account was opened, your credit limit, and date of last payment made are included. Items listed here might include credit cards, student loans, lines of credit, bank accounts with overdraft, auto loans and leases, and other loans.

This section was interesting to read and I made sure that I went over it in detail to ensure accuracy. Everything was in order and aside from a very old credit card with a $0 balance, there were no surprises.

Section 4 PUBLIC RECORDS AND OTHER INFORMATION
This section seems to be a place for official filings of secured loans/chattel mortgage, etc.

Section 5 'GLOSSARY'
This section just gives some general information on different credit terms and time frames for when records will be purged. They then go on to give some more general information about credit and Equifax and their services.

The last page is a Consumer Credit Report Update Form to request changes to your file.

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Overall obtaining this report was beneficial, and I feel there is enough information here to set my mind at ease regarding my credit. Although I am a little curious, I don't feel the need to obtain my actual score.

One thing that I did not expect was the absence of our mortgage on this report. After some quick searching on the Internet I've learned that this appears to be common practice, as apparently a mortgage does not affect your credit score. This was a surprise to me and I still don't quite understand why this would be the case. Does anyone know anything about why mortgages are not included in Equifax reports?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

investigating your credit history for free

If you are Canadian and you've ever wondered what your credit file looks like, there are two reports that you can access for free. It appears that obtaining your actual credit score will cost you some money though. Below is what I have requested free of charge. I'll review this material on the moneygardener after I receive it.

"Consumer Disclosure" from TransUnion, requested by mail with copies of both sides of two pieces of ID and the necessary completed form.
Total time commitment = 20 minutes with access to a computer, photocopier, your wallet, pen, envelope, and stamp.
What is a Consumer Disclosure?
A Consumer Disclosure is a complete account of all the information on your credit report, as mandated by consumer reporting legislation. Unlike the version supplied to a business that purchases TransUnion services, which is referred to as a "Business Version," a Consumer Disclosure lists all inquiries made to your credit information, including account management inquiries, non-credit-related inquiries and your own inquiries. The Business Version is an abbreviated version of the Consumer Disclosure. This is the credit report that creditors do see. The Business Version does not contain account management inquiries, non-credit related inquiries, or your personal inquiries to obtain a copy of your credit information.

"Credit Report" from Equifax requested by phone using automated voice recognition system. This is supposed to be mailed to me within 3-5 days.
Total time commitment = 3 minutes with access to a phone and your wallet.
What is a Credit Report?
Your credit report includes personal information such as your name, address, date of birth and Social Insurance Number. It also includes historical data such as current and previous addresses, current and previous employers, and public records like bankruptcies, liens or judgments. Most importantly, your credit report contains your credit card, mortgage and loan payment information. This information is used by lenders to see if you have missed payments, carry high balances, or are in other ways over extending yourself financially. Payment history is the most important factor in your credit rating — so pay your bills on time — even if it is just the minimum balance due each month. Lenders evaluate your credit risk based on information in your credit report. It is a good idea to review your credit report periodically and check for inaccuracies that may have an impact on your credit standing.