Monitoring and Correcting Credit Reports

When Think Credit Reports entered the credit monitoring service field more than five years ago, its leaders knew they had to offer services that allowed their members to manage their credit proactively, as well as an instantaneous way of responding to potentially fraudulent new information the minute it was added to their credit profiles. Thus, the firm offers its members full reports and credit scores from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus, not just one. In addition, Think Credit Reports monitors each member’s credit profile in each of the three credit bureaus, and immediately alerts them by email or text message when any new information is added.

There are several reasons consumers should monitor their credit reports. Banks and credit card companies rely on credit reports as their prime source of information when determining whether to extend credit, and by how much. More and more employers also review their employees’ and applicants’ credit reports, even when the jobs involved have nothing to do with money. Likewise, insurance companies are increasingly reviewing their clients’ credit and cancelling or denying insurance if the credit score is too low. Finally, identity theft, which remains a growing problem, can ruin a person’s credit and make it impossible to qualify for credit or even a job.

Consumers who are planning a major purchase, such as a car or a house, should obtain all three of their credit reports and review them thoroughly. Federal law requires the credit bureaus as well as the companies that report credit information to them to correct any inaccurate information. The credit reports themselves will include instructions on how to request that inaccurate information be corrected.

With the busy schedules and many distractions faced by today’s consumers, it’s easy to let credit report monitoring fall between the cracks, only to find out too late that inaccurate adverse information on a credit report is standing in the way of buying a new house or car. Information on engaging the services of Think Credit Reports is available at the firm’s website, http://www.thinkcreditreports.com.

How Credit Reports Are Determined

For more than five years Think Credit Reports has been providing premium account holders with quarterly credit scores included at no additional charge. Think Credit Reports customers are given access to credit information from all three major credit data bureaus.

An individual’s credit score is determined by calculating numbers in several major areas. First, more than one third of a credit score is based on payment history, including how frequently a person becomes delinquent on an account. Nearly equal in importance to payment history is the total amount owed; while excessive debt will negatively affect a score, having a number of active credit accounts, however, is not necessarily a bad thing. Additionally, the length of time an individual has been building credit is important, including when a person’s oldest and newest credit accounts were opened. Finally, the types of credit in use and the rate at which a person opens new credit accounts each represent 10% of an individual’s credit score.

How and Why a Credit Bureau Collects Information

Based in Valencia, California, Think Credit Reports provides customers with data from all three major credit bureaus. Think Credit Reports has interacted with these credit bureaus for more than five years.

As independent organizations, credit bureaus work to collect and dispense information that supports responsible lending. The credit bureaus obtain purchase, borrowing, and repayment information about consumers from data reports that subscribers submit on client accounts. This information tells the credit bureaus about any defaulted or late payments, accounts in arrears, and accounts in good standing.

Credit bureaus offer their services to a broad range of financing entities, including credit card companies and mortgage lenders. When a lender wishes to know about a particular individual’s credit history, one or more credit bureaus collect this data and offer it in the form of a credit report. The lender can then make more informed decisions about whether a borrower is likely to make on-time payments based on their past behavior. If the lender approves the borrower’s application for credit, information about the account then becomes part of the individual’s future reports.

The Diverse Factors That Determine Credit Scores

Think Credit Reports is a Valencia, California, firm that offers customers nationwide tools for accessing their current credit reports and protecting against identity theft. Think Credit Reports customers receive Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian scores each quarter and are notified automatically each time a major transaction, such as a mortgage or auto loan payment, is processed.

The credit score acts as a widely accepted measurement of individuals’ financial solvency and how likely they are to make good on debt obligations. In addition to being accessed by lenders prior to approving loans at specific interest rates, reports are also increasingly checked by employers and landlords prior to making decisions about hiring or renting to applicants.

As a general rule, anyone maintaining a credit score exceeding 720 has excellent credit and will likely be able to access loans at optimal rates. People with scores lower than 620 may experience difficulty in taking out loans and will incur high interest rates on those that they do qualify for.

The factors that make up the credit score are complex and varied, but as a general rule, 35 percent has to do with simply staying current on bills. Outstanding balances make up 30 percent of the score and have to do with the balance-to-limit ratio on credit cards. Account age defines 15 percent of the score, while the makeup of available credit affects 10 percent of the score. Other factors, such as the number of credit inquiries, also influence the ultimate score received.

Simple Ways to Improve Credit Scores

Think Credit Reports is an online source for providing users with individual credit scores. Think Credit Reports is one of the few online credit score outlets able to access information from all three credit bureaus. The company has been in business for five years.

Credit scores play an important role in determining many financial situations, including how much a person can expect to pay in loan interest and whether they will be accepted for a credit card. Here are some tips on how to improve credit scores quickly.

Get a credit card: Simply having a credit card can help improve credit scores and rebuild damaged credit. If possible, find a card that reports to all three credit bureaus.

Pay off revolving accounts: Credit bureaus give high scores to those with large gaps between balances and available credit. Try to keep balances below 30 percent of the credit limit on each credit card; below 10 percent is even better.

Review reports from all bureaus: Since each bureau receives credit and payment information independently, it is important to review each credit report individually and immediately clear up any errors, such as payment information and credit limits.

Do not cancel unused cards: Cancelling a card can often negatively affect a person’s score. Instead of getting rid of old cards, use them occasionally so they keep reporting to the credit bureaus. Having a long credit history is a great way to increase credit score.

Three Myths About Credit Reports

A credit data provider, Think Credit Reports is a website that offers consumers the convenience of ordering their reports online. Operating from Valencia, California, Think Credit Reports works with all three bureaus to provide credit monitoring and educate consumers about their reports.

While some believe that paying off debts is a sign of good credit, a credit report is actually a reflection of an individual’s entire payment history. Making timely payments over time establishes good credit and is the main measurement metric. Regardless of whether a debt is paid in full, late and missed payments will continue to factor into the overall credit score and remain on a report.

In addition, closing or canceling a credit card does not boost a person’s credit standing. In fact, having multiple credit lines open reveals a person’s ability to manage debt. Conversely, opening up several credit cards at once does reflect negatively on a credit report.

Lastly, checking a personal credit report does not lower an individual’s score. This is known as a soft pull, and individuals and credit counselors can obtain a report to check credit standing without being penalized. However, hard pulls initiated by retailers and other merchants seeking to issue a line of credit do harm a person’s credit score.

Ways to Improve a Credit Score

Think Credit Reports is a credit data provider operating for more than 5 years in Valencia, California. The company, which can provide data from the three major credit bureaus, offers a range of services, including free quarterly updates for premium account holders. While it is important to obtain data from providers like Think Credit Reports, it is also important to take action to maintain a score when it falls to a low number. The following are some ways to improve a low credit score.

Pay attention to credit card spending, and keep balances low. Using a range within about 10% or lower for the limit for the card is suggested. Furthermore, even if a person pays off a card each month, the lower the spending amounts, the better the rating.

-Do not stretch usage across several different cards. When a person owes varying small amounts on a number of cards, it can reflect poorly in a credit report. It is best to use only a couple different cards for most spending purposes.

-Do not try to revoke good debt from the past. Good debt refers to outstanding balances that have been paid and taken care of, meaning that old debts can actually contribute to a better score. It is inadvisable to strike a debt from the record just because it has already been paid off.

-Do not avoid paying off simple bills and debts in favor of saving money for a large purchase, like a home. Rather than sitting on a large sum of money, it is better to spend time paying off debts and regularly making payments on time for an extended period so that any prospective deals on a large purchase are not negated due to bad credit.

These are just several of many methods of improving credit scores. Visit www.thinkcreditreports.com for more information.