Even if you have credit issues it is important to know the information contained in your credit reports
Know Your Credit Reports
Where and when to start

For car buyers who are credit challenged it's especially critical to first get copies of all three credit reports before applying to better the chances for approved auto loans.

Here at Auto Credit Express we know this is always a good idea because we've been helping car loan applicants with all credit backgrounds find dealers that can offer them a broad range of lenders. It's also why our website covers topics from Carfax reports to buy and pay here dealers as well as today's topic: why even people needing subprime auto loans should check their credit reports before filling out an application.

Credit reports

A credit report is basically an electronic snapshot of your borrowing records over a seven year period (some items, such as bankruptcies, remain for ten years). Banks, credit card issuers and others who extend credit typically report loans and payments to one or more of the three credit bureaus – Equifax, TransUnion and Experian.

The typical information it contains is "applied for" credit. This is credit that is extended based on a request such as a car loan, home mortgage or credit card.

Credit reports may also list "not applied for" credit entries. These are accounts not resulting from a request for credit such as bad checks, medical bills, tax liens or civil judgments.

If all your bills are paid on time, you credit reports will not contain any "not applied for" accounts.

Requesting a copy

Requesting a copy of all three of your credit reports will allow you to see if there is anything they contain that is incorrect. These mistakes can often lower your credit scores.

It's actually pretty easy to order them. You can receive one credit report per year per bureau (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) at no charge by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com (if you want your credit scores at the same time you'll need to pay for them).

If you don't mind paying a fee, you can simplify the process by visiting sites such as www.FreeScore360.com where you can receive all three credit reports and credit scores at the same time.

Knowing that your credit reports are accurate indicates that your FICO scores will truly reflect your credit history. More importantly, knowing your credit scores can tell you if you will qualify for a traditional car loan or if you need to find a dealer that offers car loans for people with less than perfect credit.

The division between these types of loan is not definite, but if your FICO scores fall below 640, you'll typically need something other than a traditional auto loan. If this is the case, the next step is to locate a franchised new car dealer.

Unfortunately, many of these dealers don't cater to customers with credit issues. But there is something you can do to make the search easier.

Helping you find a dealer

Auto Credit Express specializes in placing applicants that have bad credit with dealers that can give them their best chance at approved auto loans.

So if you're ready to take that first step in improving your auto credit, you can begin now by filling out our online auto loans application.