April 15th has come and gone. Now is the time to focus on your credit report.
Why – what is the big deal?
Your credit score is important. Unpaid debts, late payments, judgments and misreporting will not help you. They will keep your score low and make it difficult to obtain a mortgage, get a loan, finance a new car and rent an apartment.
What can I do to clean my credit?
Your first task is to pull a copy of your credit report. You are entitled to one free report every year. Contact annualcreditreport.com to obtain your free copy from each of the three major credit reporting agencies: Trans Union, Experian and Equifax. Or you can also contact each of those reporting agencies separately for your free copy.
Got report, now what?
Read it carefully. Really carefully.First, look at your personal information. Make sure the names, dates, social security number and addresses are correct. You will be surprised to learn how often there are mistakes or credit files are combined
Second, check all the accounts that are being reported. Make sure that the opening dates and payment history are correct. Remember, credit agencies do not need to report all your payment history, but what they report must be correct. Also, debts can only be reported for 7 years.
Third, if there is an error, you must dispute it. The best way to dispute it is to send a letter via certified mail to the credit bureau. Mail this letter and include any proof that you have to back your claim. You can check out out sample letter and instructions by clicking here.
If you dispute the debt, the Credit Reporting Agency has thirty days from the day they receive your dispute to respond. If they verify information that is inaccurate or untrue, you might have a claim under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Are you confused about your credit report?
Check out our website for useful information and tips. Still unsure? You need to understand your rights as a consumer to move forward. SmithMarco has been protecting consumer rights since 2005. Contact us today to get your free consultation.