A credit report template is a detailed, chronological report of an individual’s credit history or past. It is the three credit bureaus that gather information together and produce credit reports based upon it, which creditors then use to approve loan applicants. The reports are used for many things, such as assessing an individual’s credit worthiness, reviewing a person’s financial situation, and gathering and maintaining information about a person’s payment history with various lenders. It is important, however, that consumers are informed about the originators of these reports and know how to read them properly in order to fully understand the purpose of their content.
There are many different websites that offer free credit reports, however, most offer limited information. For those sites that offer extensive information, it is important to note that they may be pre-formatted sample credit reports. In order to receive a truly accurate, comprehensive credit reports, it is recommended that consumers obtain their own reports from each of the three reporting agencies. This way, consumers can analyze their credit reports and learn where they can improve, what areas they need to focus on, and they can monitor their credit accounts and their credit scores.
There are two common methods that consumers utilize when creating their own credit report template: the Word document and the excel file format. Creating a Word document is relatively straightforward, but it does not offer a comprehensive look at one’s history. An Excel file format, on the other hand, is much more detailed and can be easily searched by consumers. However, even Excel files are only helpful if they include all of the information that is required. Missing items or incomplete data can lead to inaccurate or incomplete credit reports.
One of the most important sections of a credit report template is the section that contains financial statements. This financial status will generally include a personal financial statement, an income statement, and a business financial statement. All three statements must match the financial situation that the consumer is currently in. For example, if someone has recently began working part time, they will likely have a personal financial statement that lists their current income as well as their expenses. If the person is still employed full time, they will likely have a business financial statement that details both their expenses and income.
When examining the information contained in the personal and business financial statements, it is important to be aware of any red flags that might indicate an adverse credit report. If there is an error or inconsistency in any one of these financial statements, the credit report should raise a red flag for possible credit report denial for unfavorable report. Also, there should be specific instructions that are provided with the financial statements. A lender or company that requires the individual to sign an authorization form before being able to access their file format would be a good example. If a collection agency is also a sign of a potential problem, one should be able to verify with the company that what they are requesting is legally allowed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
A final area that is examined when utilizing a credit report template is the use of personal information. The amount of personal information that is needed is going to vary depending on the type of file format in which the information is needed. A person might need to provide information about their current address, current phone number, social security number, current employer, driver’s license number, birth date, etc. If the person needs to include another piece of information specific to a credit card, such as their PIN, the file format used might need to be customized in order to properly accommodate the information. For example, the MS Word application may have its own page limit for entering in a VIN number, so a potential lender may want to see the verification needed for that VIN number before allowing access to the file.
Another area to examine is the coding of the data within the templates themselves. Some of these companies may use traditional upper and lower case letters, while others may use special symbols for coding. It is always a good practice to double check the coding for accuracy, as any slight mistake can cost the consumer money when applying for a new credit card. Credit reporting agencies will typically offer free templates to consumers who need them, but some of these credit report templates may not be totally accurate and may contain typos or other clerical errors. It is important to thoroughly review all of the available credit report templates before selecting the most appropriate template for your situation.
Credit report agencies are required to provide the consumer with a free report template once every twelve months. Many of the three largest credit reporting agencies have very generous deadlines for receiving the free reports, typically around the time when the annual fees for the services set forth by the Fair Credit Reporting Act are due. It is best that all consumers take advantage of the free credit reports offered by the major agencies, as this can greatly increase the chances of obtaining an accurate negative report on one’s file.