Here's breaking news on the credit report.

Here's a report on the credit report:

There are three providers of credit information in the United States: Experian, Trans Union and Equifax. The scores that each entity compiles are a combination of your payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, new credit and types of credit used. Your credit score is important when applying for things such as a mortgage and will be the major factor in determining your rate and what types of loans are available to you.

Your score can range between 300 and 850. A general guideline is that credit scores above 720 should qualify for the best loan rate, although we recently have seen better terms for individuals with scores above 760. Those with credit scores above 680 should also get favorable terms on loans; under-620 scores are typically considered subprime.

You are constantly bombarded with advertisements for companies that claim to provide free credit information. However, you should be careful as many of these companies are simply trying to sell a service, typically related to monitoring your credit.

A Web site, www.annualcredit report.com, will provide a free credit report from each of the three providers without buying any additional service. You also can obtain a copy of your credit report if you have been denied credit. Today, some credit-card companies are giving cardholders monthly updates of their credit score. Credit scores are very important as many employers are considering this info when hiring.

Here's a report on credit reports:

Now everyone in the United States and its territories can get a free credit report once a year from each of the three major credit reporting companies thanks to the FACT Act. Now you will be able to verify the accuracy of information on your credit report and check for questionable information. Checking your credit report regularly is a very good way to spot any irregularities in your credit standing and give you the opportunity to possibly repair any damange before it gets out of hand.

Once you have received your free credit report, you might want to watch the About.com video How to Read a Credit Report.

Here's another report on the credit report:

You can place fraud reports by contacting the credit bureaus directly. A fraud alert puts lenders and creditors on notice that your information has been breached. But it also means that you'll have to jump through more hoops if you want to apply for credit. To avoid delays, it's suggested you provide your cell phone so you can be reached easily.

Fraud alerts last for 90 days and can be renewed. Foley suggests they be renewed for one to two years after the breach.

The bureaus are:

*Equifax: http://www.equifax.com or 800-525-6285.

*Experian: http://www.experian.com (alert can be placed online) or 888-397-3742.

*TransUnion: http://www.transunion.com or 800-680-7289.

Ellen Simon writes:

Your employer may have access to more information about you than your mom. According to the Federal Trade Commission, reports pulled by employers can include credit payment records, driving records and criminal histories.

If an employer wants your credit report, it must tell you, in writing, that it intends to pull it, and get your permission (unless you work in the trucking industry, where the law does not require permission.)

Report: "Don’t be fooled by fake “free” credit report sites or imposter sites with the word free in their names that lure you in by promising a free report, but then make you buy a monthly credit monitoring service or other product. Only one Web site is really FREE — annualcreditreport.com, which was created by the three major credit bureaus to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Under this law you are entitled to one free credit report a year from each of the bureaus. If you space it out and ask for a report once a year from each one, you can get a report every four months."

From the LAT:

Unless you have bankers or vendors that report your business' payment history to a credit reporting company, you may not have a business credit file. The credit reporting companies also need what they call demographic information to generate credit reports and scores. That includes how long the business has been around, the number of employees and revenue.

Some credit reporting companies rely on self-reported information. Others get the information from third parties. Some combine data from both sources. To build your business credit history, you can ask your business creditors to report your payment history. Some credit reporting agencies will share with you the names of potential suppliers that report to them.

Although sole proprietors and partners are not considered separate legal entities from their businesses, they can build a separate business credit history by, for example, opening a credit card account in the name of their business and paying on time. Some credit reporting companies also offer a business credit report and score based on a look at a blend of the principal's consumer credit and the company's business credit history. The information is analyzed based on how it relates to the risk that the business will be seriously delinquent on its bills.

From the Los Angeles Times:

It's the biggest gift-buying season of the year, and you may feel jolly as you hand over your credit card. But when the bill comes due in January, you'd better be ready: The credit card companies want your payment on time.

The first pointed reminder: Late-payment fees can be as high as $39. But that may be just the beginning of the pain: Your card's annual percentage rate may soar to 30% or more, even if you are late just one time. And your card issuer may report the late payment to the credit bureaus -- which will alert issuers of other cards you may have, possibly prompting them to raise their rates even if you've made payments to them on time.

If your rate jumped to 30% from 12% because of a late payment, you would pay $45 a month more in finance charges on a balance of $3,000, or $540 over the course of a year.

Some credit card issuers will reset your rate to its original level if you reestablish a track record of on-time payments over a six- to 12-month period. Some make it tougher, requiring that you sign up for automatic plans that debit payments from your checking account.

You could move on to another card, but blemishes on your credit report that caused problems in the first place may make it harder to get a low rate. Some experts predict that credit card issuers are going to get pickier as they tighten standards.

"The late payment fee is really small potatoes," said Curtis Arnold, founder of U.S. Citizens for Fair Credit Card Terms Inc., a consumer advocacy group in North Little Rock, Ark. "No one likes shelling out $39, but there are much bigger repercussions."

Arnold predicts more holiday shoppers will turn to plastic because other financing options, such as home equity lines of credit, have become more scarce as banks and mortgage companies tighten lending standards.

Wikipedia says: "Credit history or credit report is, in many countries, a record of an individual's or company's past borrowing and repaying, including information about late payments and bankruptcy. The term "credit reputation" can either be used synonymous to credit history or to credit score. When a customer fills out an application for credit from a bank, store or credit card company, their information is forwarded to a credit bureau, along with constant updates on the status of their credit accounts, address or any other changes you may have made since the last time they applied for any credit. This information is used by lenders such as credit card companies to determine an individual's or entity's credit worthiness; that is, determining an individual's or entity's means and willingness to repay an indebtedness. This helps determine whether to extend credit, and on what terms. With the adoption of risk-based pricing on almost all lending in the financial services industry, this report has become even more important since it is usually the sole element used to choose the annual percentage rate (APR)."

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