The Importance of Regularly Checking Credit Reports

A premium provider of personal credit information, Think Credit Reports provides members with daily credit monitoring and regular credit reports from the three credit bureaus – Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. Recognizing the growing threat of identity theft, Think Credit Reports’ 24/7 credit monitoring keeps members aware of any changes or problems that may show up.

Regularly checking credit reports is important for several reasons. According to CBS News reports, around 80 percent of reports have errors, including everything from misspellings to incorrect Social Security numbers. Errors also occur when creditors report incorrect information. By regularly checking their credit reports, individuals can correct a problem before it causes major damage to their scores. Mistakes can be disputed with both the creditor and credit bureau by simply sending a letter explaining the details.

Checking credit reports also allows individuals to spot any incorrect debts. Unrecognized debts are typically a sign of identity theft, but may also be a sign of debt error. When identities are stolen, the victims are often unaware of the problem until the damage has been done. By regularly checking credit reports, signs of identity theft are found early on, allowing the necessary action to be taken. Solving these problems early on makes preventing future fraud easier.

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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.

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.