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Top 10 Things You Should Know About Credit

  • The information in your credit files at the three major credit-reporting bureaus can vary.
  • You should check your credit report regularly for possible inaccuracies or indicators of possible credit fraud.
  • Having too many open credit cards can hurt your credit rating.
  • Potential employers can ask to check your credit report. They must receive your permission to request a copy of your report.
  • Your credit score can be lowered if you have too many inquiries in a short period. An inquiry is recorded on your report when you apply for new credit, such as a loan or new credit card.
  • Having an active, long-term line of credit in your name can improve your credit rating.
  • Inaccuracies can happen. The credit history of another person with your same name, or a similar name, can mistakenly be merged with your credit report information.
  • Derogatory credit information can stay on your credit report for seven years. Bankruptcies can stay on your report for up to 10 years.
  • Identity thieves have been known to assume your identity and open a new credit card in your name. They can re-route your credit card statement to their address. They can also make charges to your credit card account without actually having possession of the card. They simply need your credit card number and expiration date.
  • The last two years of your credit history are the most important in lenders’ eyes.
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