Most people with bad credit understand that their credit report is the key to the way financial institutions will treat them, but many have no idea what a credit report actually contains. Here is a quick explanation of what a credit report is, what’s in it, and why its important for you to have.

Three US credit reporting agencies keep detailed records of your credit history, and these records are known as a credit report. The credit report details information about your financial activities, such as applying for a loan, making or missing a payment, and applying for a new credit card, and contains information that allows your credit score to be calculated. The lenders buy the credit report from the credit agencies as a tool to help them decide whether or not to grant you a loan.

A credit report contains ID and employment info, such as birthday, social security, and work history, income, addresses, and home ownership information. It also includes creditor information from your transactions with credit card companies, banks, retailers and others. If you’ve been extended credit, or made late payments, this will be recorded as well.

Included in your record are also any creditors who have made inquiries into your credit history within a year’s time. Credit requests used by potential employers are also recorded, and will be kept for two years. Your credit reports also contain public record info from the state and county courts, including foreclosures, lawsuits, bankruptcies, wage attachments, judgements and tax liens.

To obtain a copy of your credit report, you don’t have to spend any money. You may obtain a free copy of your credit report once a year. You can get these through various online services.

Once you have your credit report, you will be able to correct inaccurate and outdated information that may still be included.

Having your credit report in hand will also prepare you for the dealership, which will also be looking at the report. Knowing what’s in your report and what’s not can give you leverage when you’re buying a car. It will also assist you in making intelligent choices by understanding a clear picture of your financial situation.

Lastly, looking over your credit report is also a handy way to protect your identity. Often if your identity is being used by someone else, you will see info on your report not related to anything you have done, and you can put a stop to it This is a good way to detect identity theft.

Your credit history can limit your choices in dealing with financial institutions, but by obtaining your credit report, and knowing what’s in it you will give you much more information to make intelligent decisions about your financial future. It will also help you as you begin the process of credit repair.

To make credit repair easier, We created a free do it yourself credit repair guide to easily help get you started today on improving your credit score. It shows 5 simple ways to start rebuilding your credit. See the guide HERE..