Understanding your credit report and credit history is important for every consumer, whether before applying for a loan or simply to ensure the information is accurate. Information included in an Equifax* credit report includes identifying information, credit accounts, inquiries and bankruptcies/collection information. During COVID-19, under the new CARES Act, consumers who have been directly impacted (tested positive for the virus, caring for a family member who is ill with the virus, loss of job or decrease of hours) may seek accommodations from lenders, such as deferral of monthly payment. Lenders who provide these accommodations will report the deferral of payments to the credit bureaus, which does not negatively impact a FICO score.
A few best practices to follow to help minimize the impact of COVID-19 on your credit standing are: 1) Ask for help, 2) Pay what you can, if possible, 3) Stay up to date on your credit reports, and 4) Consider adding a consumer statement to your reports.
Remember, it’s important to contact your lenders and creditors if you are struggling due to COVID-19, in order to see if special assistance is available.
*Equifax is a registered trademark of Equifax, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia.
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