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How to read a Personal Credit Report

16.  Payment refers to the monthly payment that you have to make to the creditor.  In the case of your auto loan or mortgage it is the monthly payment that you have signed up for, in the case of a credit card it will be the minimum payment due to them, in the case of cards like the American Express it will be the entire monthly amount that you have charged. 

17.  Balance is simply the amount of debt that you have left over with the creditor.  The higher the debts outstanding with creditors the higher will be your revolving debt to limit ratio.

18.  The comments line at the end of each credit line reported shows if the account has been closed out or paid in full or closed by grantor of credit.  It gives the reader of the credit report additional comments on the line if warranted.  For example if the account was charged off in a bankruptcy then it would be indicated here.

19.  Public Records: This section of the credit report contains any public records that have been entered against the borrower.  Items like liens, judgments and bankruptcies would show up here.  This record is compiled by taking information from United States bankruptcy courts, tax liens and other judgments entered against the borrower by other courts.  Tax liens are fairly common as are parking tickets that have gone unpaid resulting in liens and other infractions.  In the event you have a public record items against your credit you should have the paperwork to show  that it was satisfactorily discharged and submit that along with you application to the lender

20.  Identifications:  This section deals with the identifiers that we referenced earlier.  Typical information is name, date of birth, social security number and addresses.  If there is a mismatch between the information submitted to the lender and the information in the credit report, the mismatch will be identified and tagged in this section.

21.  Inquiry Information:  The number of times your credit report has been run in the past one year will typically show up here along with a reference key for the name of the company that made the inquiry against your credit report.  We recommend that you always look at this section carefully to make sure that no un-authorized credit inquiries are being made against your credit.  If you do see an inquiry that you did not authorize, please make sure that you get in touch with the data repositories as soon as possible.

22.  Credit Listings is a section that gives you the name, address and telephone number of the creditors reporting credit history on you in the credit report.  Not all credit reports have this section.  In the event you see something derogatory and are not able to locate your creditor or they have gone out of business, you should get in touch with the data repository and request further clarification from them.  If they are not able to get in touch with the creditor then they have to clean up the derogatory item.

23.  The fraud alert section also may or may not show up on all bureaus but nowadays after the Patriot Act we are finding that most credit reports have something that addresses the fraud fact checking requirements of the Patriot Act.  Thus if there is a name, address or social security number mismatch an alert notice will be included in this section.

24.  The detailed credit score information is simply a detailed analysis of the credit scores on you being reported by each data repository with comments from each repository about what may be affecting your credit scores like the number of accounts, the number of inquiries, the level of delinquencies etc.

Small Business Owner Resource Center


Articles on the Small Business Financing Sources, the Small Business Loan Basics, small business loans Checklist and SBA Loans are incredible sources of knowledge for the small business owner.



Credit Report and Credit Score Analysis, how to Read a Personal Credit Report and all about Business Credit cover the intricacies of credit and are required reading for everybody.



The Foundation Grant Directory is a free listing of sources for grants by state. Why not look if there is some free money out there for your business. Hey - you never know!



The Business Loan Application covers every item you will need in your loan package and tells you how to get approved for business loans.



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If you are looking to start a business - look no further.  Check out the Free Incorporation Guide discussion and the State Incorporation Resource Directory.

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