Understanding your credit report is an important part of managing your personal finances. Credit reports often appear cryptic, but the various alphanumeric codes indicate important parts of your financial status -- including some, like code G or "collections," that could have serious repercussions if neglected.
Consumer Payment History Codes
Code G, found in the "consumer payment history" section of an Experian credit report, means that at least one account is in collections. This code is applied if the loan -- possibly a credit card, car loan or line of credit -- is so far past due the lender felt it necessary to turn the file over to a collection agency.
Cleaning Up a Code G
Consumer payment histories remain on a credit report for two years. If you know your accounts are all paid up and the code G is there in error, call your lender and your credit bureau immediately.
Your credit rating will drop significantly if an active collection notice remains on your report.
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Monitor Your Credit Report
Americans are entitled to receive a free credit report from their credit bureau once a year. Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, the three main American bureaus, jointly provide this service through annualcreditreport.com. Canadians have a similar entitlement, if they ask their credit bureau in writing.
Checking your own credit report generally doesn't affect your rating or score. Frequent inquiries by lenders can give the impression you are hunting for credit and may be noted on your report.