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How to Read & Understand Your Credit Report

How to Read & Understand Your Credit Report

When you apply to rent these days, most property management agencies will run a background check for evictions, criminal record and credit report. Your credit history shows us your willingness to pay rent. If we see a report that has revolving accounts, loans, or utilities with late payments on record, it demonstrates that a person is not very concerned with keeping payment obligations or maintaining a good credit score.

The importance of being familiar with your credit history can not be understated! Surprisingly more often than not, when asked how their credit history is, people applying for our rentals will say to me, “Oh, I think it’s good… I guess.” Or, “Oh, I don’t know… I haven’t really seen it for awhile.” This sort of nonchalance is alarming to me, because your credit history and credit score is #1: YOURS, #2: a vital aspect of transacting in this day and age, #3: informs you of possible identity theft.

IT’S YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW!
I immediately tell the applicant that knowing their credit status is their right, and that they have instant access to their information directly from the three credit bureaus and also newly formed third parties such as www.creditkarma.com, or www.annualcreditreport.com which will give you a report with a credit score for free.

YOU CAN GET A COPY OF YOUR CREDIT REPORT FOR FREE. All three bureaus provide you with a free copy once a year, which you can order by telephone if you do not have access to the internet.

HOW DO YOU READ YOUR CREDIT REPORT? Here’s the meat and potatoes of this blog… what does all that information on my report mean? Here I cannot demonstrate or describe accurately enough in sufficient space (and time). However, I did find a most excellent link that does a top-quality job of helping you decipher at www.credit.com: https://www.credit.com/credit-reports/cheat-sheet/#potentially-negative

My message to you, dearest consumer, is that knowing your credit history is as important as knowing where your children are. And thanks to the internet, there is even less excuse to not have this information readily at hand. Arm yourselves! Protect yourselves! Know your credit status!

Written by Alexandria Goodman, D&G Equity Management, Inc.

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