One of the sections on your credit report will contain all the inquiries made within the last 90 days to a year. Youll want to carefully look at these inquiries and make sure they are accurate. Too many inquiries can lower your credit score.
There will be a section on your credit report that has columns for 30, 60, and 90 days. These numbers mean 30 days late, 60 days late or 90 days late. When you have a liability (debt) listed on your credit report and you have a number 3 in the 30 days late column, it means that you have paid that specific bill 30 days or more late 3 times. If you have a 0 under each of the 3 columns then that would mean that you have never been late on that specific account.
Another section is the active or open accounts. The will be accounts that are currently active and reporting to the credit bureaus. It is important that all your open accounts are being reported here. Any lack of credit reporting on your active accounts may be keeping your scores lower than they should.
The main thing you will be looking for is your scores. These are listed at the begining of the report and again at the end in the summary/disclosure section.
Most people have 3 scores. One from each of the three major credit bureaus. When determining your qualifying score for a mortgage, most lenders will look at the middle of the three scores. For example, your scores are 540, 600 and 580. 580 would be considered your middle score.
Credit reports can be difficult to understand. The best way to get your report interpreted is to contact a mortgage professional and have them examine it for you. Mortgage professionals deal with credit reports for a living and have a very clear concise method of interpreting the data.
Look at accounts with active balances. Make sure that all of these accounts are accurate and are yours. You may find accounts placed for collections that you were not aware of. Take care of these accounts to help improve your credit score.
Some companies that issue credit reports can provide a "key" to read the different numbers and sections.