Finance 101: Understanding a Credit Report

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – Continuing our finance 101 series, we learned about credit reports with Financial Counselor Todd Christian from Cambridge Credit in Agawam.

Uses of Credit Reports

  • Qualifications for financing
  • As a basis for Auto insurance rates
  • By landlords in rental decisions
  • For private student loan interest rates and college acceptance
  • Employers are using the reports in the hiring process.

Viewing your credit report

  • Very important for consumers to view their report
  • This should be done once a year
  • Check for identity theft & mistakes

There are three major Credit bureaus:

A free copy of each report is available to you once per year or if:

  • 1. Your application for credit has been turned down due to information in your credit report.
  • 2. You are unemployed but plan to apply for a job within 60 days’ of receiving your report. (You
    must enclose a statement swearing that this is true, and a copy of a recent unemployment check
    would help.) There is a limit of one report per year if you obtain one under these circumstances.
  • 3. You receive public assistance. Again, simply enclose a statement swearing that this is true,
    along with a copy of a recent public assistance check. There is also a limit of one report per year
    under these circumstances.
  • 4. You are a victim of identity theft or fraud, or think that this may be the case. If this were true, it
    would also be advisable to request that a fraud alert be placed on your file.