Annual Credit reports?

sweets98January 31, 2006

I have a few questions about this. Are the reports only part of the real thing or is it the total thing? DH and I printed ours off today and I must say I'm surprised. There is hardly anything on them!

I know there were bills DH has from the past that went to collections and such and they are no where to be found. Why is that? Why am I paying off an old loan when it's nowhere to be found (In fact we're about to settle on it next week!)? What about the other bills?

Our whole point of getting the reports was to see what we owed on because we're working on paying things off. I already knew about the things I found!

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not all bills or loans are reported to the agencies. when my wife and i bought our house last year, my report did not list the note on our land nor did it list a couple other loans.

also, some lendors only report to one credit agency, not all three. pull all 3 reports to see if that is the case with your credit. I have several things that do not show on transunion or experian, but are there on equifax.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2006 at 6:02PM
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You don't say where you got the credit report from. If it's one of the 3 major ones, it will be the complete version, and you're entitled to one free from each of them each year. Although there will likely be differences between them, it sounds like what you got is significantly deficient. Here is what you're entitled to:

Federal Trade Commission

And here's where you get it:


As the FTC warns, be careful of copycat sites that mimic the official site.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2006 at 6:33PM
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I did the search for credit reports this morning and was linked to the Federal Trade Commisions website and from there took the link to the same place that kudzu9 has the link to. So it was the correct place!

I also did pull reports from all 3 agencies and in both cases there was nothing on the Equifax report for either of us. And the other two showed the same info.

This just baffles me. I mean how do I know who we still owe money to if it's not there? Just not worry about it? Is it like this because a collection agency has the loans and such?

You would think my DH's repo would be on there, right? But it's not! And that's what we're about to settle on! Does it matter that it happened in 99? Wouldn't it still be there because if not, anyone could just let repos go and it wouldn't hurt their credit years down the road. I always assumed this stuff followed you for a bit. I mean I swear I heard it hurts your credit until 7 years after it's settled!

I may have to look around again tomorrow....see if I can find a way to talk to someone and see what's up. I need to do my research. I'm still learning because up until this point we were just concerned with making ends meet and not so much about past debts.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2006 at 7:58PM
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My Dad used to say, "When you make the mess - you fix it".

Now, it seems as though a number of people seem more worried about a credit report than on their responsibility to pay off the loans that they make.

Though I do believe that we should be taught more about effective money management in school. And at home.

I am displeased with the interest rates that so-called "credit" (really "debt") card issuing agencies charge on their balances unpaid at the end of the month ...

... but when we make contracts, we really should read the fine print **before** we sign (or sign on).

When you pay 18% - or up to 28% or so - interest rates on balances owing, you can get into deep trouble ...

... fast.

Good wishes for managing your money effectively - if you don't, it'll manage you, most likely!

ole joyful

twenty years a personal financial advisor (selling no financial products)

P.S. Don't get me started on the "Payday Loan" businesses!!

o j

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 4:04PM
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I got mine back in September, and if I remember correctly, Equifax was a bit more confuring than the other two. Aren't you able to look at the reports on the website for a month? Try to go back and see if you missed clicking on some linked pages.

Is there someplace to check your FICO score for free? That should be next, especially since they seem to be so important now.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 5:35PM
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I printed the reports. So the WHOLE thing should be there...

Yesterday I figured out where my in-laws must have went to before filing bankruptcy. My MIL said sort of where the place was and I looked up credit stuff in the yellow pages and here BIL went to Consumer Credit Counseling Services. So I got on the website and e-mailed them my question and I'm waiting to hear back. If I don't hear today, I'm going to call.

I don't know if I misunderstood you or if you misunderstood me. DH and I ARE paying back what we owe. It's just some bills are so old, I only vaguely remember where they are to. I might have forgotten a few, too and I wanted to have a list and there isn't one now! LOL

DH and I have been together 8 years in April. He was in debt when I met him and I was just out of high school so I didn't really have credit. A few months later, we had a baby on the way and then DS was born 2 months premature and required extra care. So we spent the years taking care of the family and the bills we had NOW. Now we're one by one paying off the past debts because we can. We just had to get to a point where we could do it! It's not that we're even rich now or anything. We don't own a house and don't drive around brand new cars or anything like that. We're doing okay and doing our best to making payments on these items, even if they are small they are better than nothing.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 8:29AM
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"This just baffles me. I mean how do I know who we still owe money to if it's not there? "

"I might have forgotten a few, too and I wanted to have a list and there isn't one now!"

That's not the point of credit reports. They are not a list of who you owe money to. They are supposed to be a record of how you've handled credit in the past, so someone considering loaning you money can judge the risk you won't pay it back. You are not supposed to check your credit report to find out who you owe money to, but to make sure the information on them is accurate, and especially to make sure there are no accounts listed that you didn't open, which could indicate indentity theft, or could just be a mistake but could negatively affect your credit rating if whoever the account belongs to doesn't pay it.

I don't know why the repo or other stuff wouldn't be on it, except that the credit bureaus rely on lenders to provide their information. If the bank/dealer who held the car loan didn't report it, then the bureaus won't know about it. Maybe you bought and financed the car from some rinky-dink local used car shop who doesn't worry too much about reporting that stuff?

Regardless, no, you can't rely on the credit bureaus to tell you who you owe money to. That's not what they're for.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 10:15AM
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Don't mean to be rude here, but I have no sympathy for the OP. Her mindset illustrates why so many people are in so much financial trouble. He was in debt when they met, she had no credit (which probably was a good thing) .... yet they had a baby right away (which entails a great deal of expense). Live for NOW (as she says) and worry about the previously EXISTING debt obligations later, IF AND WHEN we can handle them. That's ridiculous.

Trying to use credit reports to get a handle on bills she owes ... that's just sad.

Reminds me of an ex-employee who wrote several checks for cash at work (movie theater, lotsa cash runs through), and they all bounced. She paid the bounces by credit card. Then later she closed the checking account and advised me to let her know if there are any outstanding checks that bounce because she never balances her checkbook and doesn't even know what checks are out, to any payees. She simply closed the account and waited for them all to bounce.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 3:10PM
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She didn't say 'Live for NOW', she said pay the bills they had now, and I bet that meant food, medicine, etc. AND, when you have a two month preemie, you have alot of bills NOW. I know, we had to pay $33,000 in our share of medicine for the first year. I will never understand why people feel the need to judge others.

Sweets98, to try to answer your question, it is possible that some of the debt was written off and for whatever reason not reported to a credit bureau. As another poster said, that is really not what they are there for - it is only a reporting source to judge your credibility.

Go back through all your paperwork, old bank statements to find what you can and get those debts paid. And a word of advice, keep your documentation in the future. You shouldn't rely on your report to tell you what you owe, in fact you should be keeping track of it to make sure you are getting marked with an invalid debt. Especially keep all your medical bills and insurace receipts. I still have to pull them out occasionally to prove a med bill was paid years ago. I am so glad I kept it all! Good Luck!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 3:48PM
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When I hit the print button for my Equifax credit report, only one page printed. That's why I say go back and check. I thought it was strange that hardly anything was listed so I went back and found how to get more info. I'm not saying yours will be the same, but you should double check.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 7:14PM
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Hi Sweets98,

Just b/c the bills aren't on the credit report doesn't mean they aren't out there. What some institutions do is let the debt linger out there. Sometimes they don't even report it for 5 years or longer, they sell the loan to someone else etc. etc. It's great that you are paying down all the bills that you owe, believe me once you start settling they come out of the woodwork. The other thing you can do to locate creditors is look at the list of recent inquiries b/c if there are agencies that have been checking your credit regularly every few months then you can contact them to find out "why". I wouldn't call them all at once....cuz they will start hounding you. Call one at a time. Once you have one paid call the next one. You will get it all straightened out. Also I would recommend signing up for credit monitoring. The best one is True Credit
It's 9.95 a month but it updates your score monthly. Any new accounts, closed accounts andy pay offs or settlements (that are reported to the 3 bureaus) I use this service and I find it helpful. I just bought my first home and I plan on using this service for 1 year. I had student loans that I just finished paying most of, then consolodated the rest so now one payment but I wanted to see how my credit was affected. It's really come in handy. I know some people don't agree w/credit monitoring but it is useful for people trying to improve their credit score that are paying off old debt or closing out accounts and just want to be informed.

Good Luck

    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 3:28AM
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