A Credit Report Cheat Sheet

A Credit Report Cheat Sheet

I was doing my annual review of my credit reports last weekend, and I came up with a helpful idea I wanted to share with our readers…

Have you ever considered creating a credit report cheat sheet? As I was reviewing my three reports I found myself making notes next to many of the accounts on the report. The notes would read anything from: “I’m an authorized user on this account.” “Original mortgage before refinance in 2015.” “Original car loan before co-signer was removed in 2010.” “Student loan paid off in 2011.

It occurred to me that I could save myself a lot of time in the future by making a list of the items that should appear on my credit report, what category they fall under, and any important details that I want to confirm on each bureau’s report.

I named the document “Items that should appear on my credit report” and I’ve attached a picture to this article to give you a template of the information I found useful.

In addition to looking for unfamiliar accounts, I was reviewing the report for a few other details, like proof of my security freeze. If you have a freeze placed on your report, it will be listed on your file. Equifax has a section labelled Credit File Status that read “Security freeze in place.” Experian listed it under Personal Statement as “File frozen due to federal legislation.” And Transunion’s Security Freeze section read “The file has been frozen or locked at the consumer’s request.”

Lastly, I scanned the reports to make sure they were recording my payments correctly – on time, and paid in full. While I don’t see a need to take out a loan in the near future, I want to get credit (see what I did there?) for my responsible consumer debt management. And it’s much easier to address errors now than attempting to dispute a claim while I’m attempting to acquire my next loan.

Why not try to set up a similar system? Let us know how it’s working for you and if you run into any roadblocks!








MainStreet Team
MainStreet Team

MainStreet Financial Planning, Inc., an independent fee-only financial planning firm was founded in Maryland in 2002 by Jim Ludwick, CFP® who passionately believed that financial planning advice should be accessible to people from all walks of life without product sales and investment management services. In 2006 Anna Sergunina, CFP® joined the team and together they grew MainStreet Financial to a nationally recognized company, with a team of 6 staff members and 5 offices across the country.

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