Currently, there are three major credit reporting agencies that keep a record of your credit history. These three agencies collect the data that is reported to them through your lenders. They are also responsible for having this information available when you apply for credit so that your future lenders, employers, landlords and a variety of others can determine if you are a worthy credit risk. The three credit report bureaus who provide such information are Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.

Along with the information on your financial history, the three major credit bureaus also report when there has been an inquiry on your credit report. These inquiries are called hard inquiries. An institution such as a credit card company that is viewing your credit report to make a determination whether you are a good risk for credit will be reported as a hard inquiry. The number of hard inquiries on your report can be a negative to your credit score as well. When you are applying for credit frequently, many lenders will view this in a negative way. Viewing your own credit report, however, is called a soft inquiry and does not negatively impact your report.

Why You Need To Know What Is In Your Credit Report

It is vital that you keep an eye on your credit report and the information that is gathered by the credit reporting agencies. When you are aware of your credit report and scores, you can take action to improve your credit score. It will also help you to find inaccuracies and make sure that they are removed from your credit report.

There are a number of benefits to keeping track of your credit report. Identity theft occurs and viewing your credit report may be the first indication that it has happened to you. Others could be receiving credit in your name without you ever knowing about it until it is reported by the credit reporting agencies. This is otherwise known as “credit report fraud”.

View Your Credit Report

For most people, viewing their credit report only has to take place annually. However, if you have been having problems with identity theft or inaccuracies in your report, you may need to keep a closer eye on your report. Knowing when something is changed in your report will help you find the inaccuracies quickly before they have an impact on your financial situation.

Those who are planning a major purchase, such as a house, should view their credit report before they start applying for their financing. Knowing what you are up against in your report is the first step toward making sure you get the lending that you will need.