Sullivan & Company - Certified Public Accountants 4709 Montgomery Lane #201 - Bethesda, MD, 20814 Phone: 301-657-8080




Paul Sullivan, CPA

Sullivan & Company


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Feature Articles

- Cash Flow - The Pulse of Your Business
- Planning For Retirement: Withdrawals
- Credit Reports: What You Should Know
- Paying Off Debt the Smart Way
- Protect Your Business With The Right Insurance

Tax Tips

- Tax Benefits for Job Seekers
- What to Do If You Haven't Filed Your 2010 Return
- Basic Hints to Help New Small Businesses
- Seven Tax Tips for Students with a Summer Job

Financial Planning Tips

- Prepare a Post-Mortem Letter
- Get Your Social Security Statement of Benefits
- Review Your Budget vs Actuals for July
- Estimate Your Tax Liability



If your CPA isn't providing this type of information to you as a

client each month, maybe it's time to talk with or switch to Paul

Sullivan at Sullivan & Company CPAs.  To set up an appointment to

talk with Paul at 800-652-6521 or in Bethesda call 301-657-8080.

Credit Reports:  What Should You Know?


How do lenders determine who is approved for a credit card, mortgage, or car loan?


Why are some individuals flooded with credit card offers while others get turned down routinely?


Because creditors keep their evaluation standards secret, it is difficult to know just how to improve your credit rating. It is important, however, to understand the factors and to review your credit report periodically for any irregularities, omissions, or errors.


Reviewing your credit report annually can help you protect your credit rating from fraud and ensure its accuracy.


Credit Evaluation Factors: Many factors determine your credit. Here are some of the major factors considered.



  • Age

  • Residence

  • "Authorized user" payment history

  • Checking & savings accounts

  • Bankruptcy

  • Charge-offs (Forgiven debt)

  • Child support

  • Closed accounts and inactive accounts

  • Jobs

  • Payment history

  • Recent loans

  • Collection accounts and charge-offs

  • Cosigning an account

  • Credit limits

  • Credit reports

  • Debt/income ratios

  • Department store accounts

  • Payment history/late payments

  • Finance company credit cards

  • Income/income per dependent

  • Mortgages

  • Revolving credit

  • Name/alias

  • Number of credit accounts

  • Fraud

  • Inquiries



These factors may be used, and weighted, in determining credit decisions. Credit reports contain much of this information.


Obtaining Your Credit Reports


Credit reports are records of consumers' bill-paying habits. Credit reports are also called credit records, credit files, and credit histories and are collected, stored, and sold by three credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.


Recent changes to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) require that each of the three credit bureaus provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, every 12 months.


If you have been denied credit or believe you've been denied employment or insurance because of your credit report, you can request that the credit bureau involved provide you with a free copy of your credit report - but you must request it within 60 days of receiving the notification.


Disputing Errors in Your Credit File


The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) protects consumers in the case of inaccurate or incomplete information in credit files. The FCRA requires credit bureaus to investigate and correct any errors in your file.


TIP: If you find any incorrect or incomplete information in your file, write to the credit bureau and ask them to investigate the information.  Under the FCRA, they have about thirty (30) days to contact the creditor and find out whether the information is correct. If not, it will be deleted.


Be aware that credit bureaus are not obligated to include all of your credit accounts in your report. If, for example, the credit union that holds your credit card account is not a paying subscriber of the credit bureau, the bureau is not obligated to add that reference to your file. Some may do so, however, for a small fee.


To read the rest of this article, click here or go to and click on the Newsletter section.


If you have any questions about interpreting your Credit Report, please give us a call at 301-657-8080.



As always you can call our offices if you have any questions about these or any other accounting, tax, financial planning or insurance related issues, at 301-657-8080. 


Regards, Paul Sullivan, CPA

President, Sullivan & Company





Sullivan & Company, CPAs | 4709 Montgomery Lane | Bethesda, Md. 20814 | email:

Direct: 240-316-3531 | Main no.: 301-657-8080 Ext 102 | Fax: 301-657-9055