TRW issues credit report in 'plain English' 6

May 09, 1993|By Knight-Ridder News Service

Finally, reading a credit report doesn't require a degree in hieroglyphics.

TRW Credit Services, one of the major credit-reporting firms, has produced a document that eliminates the numbers and codes that have confused many consumers.

"This new format is the clearest I've seen," said Gerri Detweiler, a spokeswoman for Bankcard Holders of America, a consumer group in Herndon, Va. "It takes the guesswork out of reading your credit report."

Most credit-reporting companies use a system of numbers and codes to explain the status of various credit accounts. The TRW report uses "plain English."

For example, the report of a delinquent account might read as follows: "As of 12/92, this account is paid in full but was 30 days past due in 07/92. The last payment reported to TRW was made on 12/22/92."

The TRW report also would list the names of companies that requested copies of your credit records. Also, it includes a dispute form that can be used to challenge incorrect or incomplete data.

So far, no other credit-reporting firm has announced plans to simplify its reports.

To get a free copy of your TRW report, write to TRW Consumer Assistance, P.O. Box 2350, Chatsworth, Calif. 91313-2350. To verify your identity, you must include your full name, including middle initial; current address, including ZIP code; previous address if you have moved in the last five years; Social Security number; year of birth; spouse's full name and a photocopy of a driver's license or some other document that links you to the address.

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