Bob Northern & Company
12540 Patterson Ave
Richmond, VA 23238
Tel: 804-708-9463 • Fax: 804-708-9467
Buying a Home: Step-By-Step
How can I find out what is on my Credit Report

This article contains information about how to contact the
3 major credit bureaus.

Credit Report Information

Review your credit report before applying for any kind of credit. Often, you will be able to catch and correct errors. You’ll probably find the document(s) more interesting than you expected.

To get a copy of your credit report, contact any or all of the three main credit-reporting bureaus:
It can be worthwhile to get all three reports, because some information might have been reported to just one bureau.

You’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report if you live in certain states, or within 60 days of being denied credit, employment, insurance or rental housing. Otherwise, it might cost you about $8.00 per report, or more for a three-in-one combined report.

If there are errors on your credit report, have them corrected. Somewhere in the report, often at the end, there should be instructions to tell you how to dispute anything that you feel is an error.

If the report contains negative but accurate information, you can expect it to remain on your report for seven to ten years. If your credit report shows a slow payment history, you can increase your “credit scores” by making sure you make your current bill payments on time! Credit issuers tend to give more weight to your recent bill paying history. A clean payment record for the last year or two can make a huge difference!

Your mortgage and rent payment history and student loan payments are among the most critical determining factors when things get really tight when determining if you will be approved for your new home loan or not! Many lenders ask the question “if you don’t make your mortgage or rent payments on time now, why should we think you’ll make your new payment (which is often larger than your previous payment) on time after you buy your new home”?

Close credit card accounts you don’t use! Many people have the erroneous impression that a lot of open accounts increases their credit rating. Just the opposite is true! Lenders look at unused credit cards and credit lines as a potential liability equal to the credit limit they offer. You are better having fewer accounts with an excellent payment history.

Beware of “credit repair clinics”. They are often scams and often cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. Only a disciplined and on time payment record can help to eliminate credit problems!

The loan officer you choose to finance your new home can order your credit report for you. You don’t want several lenders you are considering, to run your credit report. Each “inquiry” has the potential to reduce your credit score!

Learn more about credit issues at or if you would like to receive brochures about credit issues from the Federal Trade Commission, please call 1-877-382-4357.