What Free Merchant Account Holders Should Know About Credit Reports

Applying for a credit card? Planning to buy a home or a car and making a mortgage or loan? Starting a business and you need a free merchant account? Then one requirement you have to provide (whether you like it or not) is a credit report.

what is a credit report. A credit report lists your credit history, as well as information on your residence history (where you've lived), buying history (your recurring bills and how you pay), judgments against you (have you been sued, imprisoned, arrested for financial reasons) and whether you've been bankrupt or not. All financial details are in this report.

How important it is. A credit report determines whether a financial firm (a bank, credit card company etc) will process or grant whatever it is that you requested. A credit report is unbiased - it will just list details but it will never make a judgment whether it's "bad" or "good".

A Bad Credit report is usually deemed "bad" because:

  • you have an outstanding debt

  • you've declared bankruptcy once in your life

  • you've been imprisoned for a while

  • you don't have enough assets

Pertinent information your credit report holds:

  • ID Information- Who are you? This section includes your full name, nicknames, aliases you go by, current address (as well as previous addresses), your social security number, birthday, employers (both current and previous), and civil status. May also include information about your spouse.

  • Credit Information - How many credit cards do you have? All financial accounts you have with financial firms including but not limited to banks, credit card companies, and lenders (whether it be a mortgage, student loan, recurring loan). This section includes when and where you opened the account, credit limit, and for loans, includes amount of the loan, co-signers, and payment behavior.

  • Public Record Information - have you ever declared bankruptcy? This section includes declared bankruptcies, monetary judgments, and "everything financial" that is made public or declared.

  • Recent Inquiries - who has been reading your credit report? This section lists down all inquiries made over the past two years.

Who makes the credit report. Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) or a credit bureau collects the information and charges a fee every time an inquiry is made.

Needless to say, whether you're applying for a loan, credit card or a free merchant account, you'll be needing a credit report. Here are some tips to make your credit report look dashing:

  • Get a copy of your credit report every two years (every year if you prefer) so you can assure all information is correct and recent, as well as note all inaccuracies and take immediate actions. This also secures you against identity theft.

  • Late payments of your bills can cramp your credit report. Pay all bills on time because your payment history will show up on your credit report.

  • Did you know that when you declare bankruptcy, it stays on your credit report for 10 years!? So as much as possible, AVOID at all costs. Pun intended.

  • Longevity in anything - a home and job - shows sign of steadiness which lenders look forward to seeing in your credit report. House hopping is perceived negatively.

  • Businessmen who apply for merchant accounts are free from rejection when a credit report is adjudged as good and worthy. Although not all merchant account providers ask for it, high risk merchants need a good report for credit worthiness.

  • Don't take more debt than you can handle.

Maintaining a good credit report is difficult, but with discipline, a bit of scrimping, and common sense all be worth it in the end when you finally get that loan, or that card, or that merchant account free of any hassles.

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