September 20, 2021 10:37 am

The more educated about your credit

No matter what your preference, you’ll be all the more educated about your credit if you take the time to look at the information contained in each of the three reports together. As proof of this, I should note that despite my previous Credit Repair Blueprint comments about my TransUnion report, I nevertheless did learn several valuable takeaways courtesy of that report – information I wouldn’t have immediately grasped had I only pulled my Equifax or Experian reports. For example, TransUnion was the only bureau to give me a summary of the length of my credit history. At the top of my TransUnion report was a statement that said: “You have been on our files since 02/1987.” This was good to know, especially since the length of credit history counts in computing one’s credit score. The TransUnion report furthermore explained a few mysterious codes that are sometimes contained in credit reports, but not always explained. To be precise, my TransUnion report stated: “If any item on your credit report begins with ‘MED1’, it includes medical information, and the data following ‘MED1’ is not displayed to anyone but you except where permitted by law.” Although I had no medical debt, this would be good info for those trying to interpret that MED1 code.

4. More Comprehensive View of Your Overall Credit Standing

When you get all three of your credit reports at once, you’re giving yourself the same comprehensive, birds-eye view of your credit profile that many lenders use. Especially when banks are evaluating you for a major loan, such as a mortgage, many of them will pull a so-called tri-merged report, or a 3-in-1 credit file containing information from TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. There’s a reason that lenders want to look at all three of your reports: and it’s to have all the facts about you, and the broadest possible look at your credit rating. If lenders and creditors take that full scale approach to examining your credit, then so should you. Some of you might ask: But what if I’m not seeking a mortgage? Do I really need to know what’s in all three reports? The answer is a resounding yes. Even though you may not be in the market for a mortgage, is it possible in the near future you will apply for any form of credit whatsoever – say a credit card, a car loan or some kind of a line of credit? If so, you obviously know that a bank is going to pull your credit. But the problem is: you don’t know exactly which credit file they’ll examine. That’s why you should already know what’s in all three of those reports. Don’t take the risk of being ignorant about something missing or erroneous being in your credit file, and having that information hurt your chances of getting the credit you want or need.

As you can see, there are a host of reasons to get all your credit reports at once, especially during the global credit crunch we are experiencing. A simultaneous examination of all three files – from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – is one of the most sure-fire ways to get a true picture of your credit status. Given these facts, it’s almost unthinkable that many people either consciously or unconsciously choose not to pull their credit files – even though they can get them quickly, free of charge, and even conveniently online.

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