Your financial stability is based on your credit history. Your credit report information is used by scoring companies to provide your credit score. The latter plays a crucial role in determining the amount you should pay for a loan, whether you can get a loan at all, and your insurance rates.
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Don’t fail to go over your credit report and check up on it regularly so you can catch and fix any issues immediately.
1. Where Is Your Credit Report?
You can have a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months from the 3 major credit-reporting agencies ─ Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You can find the free copy of your credit report issued by these 3 bureaus at AnnualCreditReport.com.
2. Focus on Your Identification Basics.
Don’t forget to check your identifying information, including name, current address and Social Security number. Then, look at the accounts and see whether they’re all yours.
3. Make Sure There Are No Differences.
See whether there are accounts you don’t recognize. Check with the credit bureau to find out if anything is wrong. Does any negative information associated with any account belong to you?
4. Is There Any Phantom Money?
Consumers who have a history of collections in their past can have their outstanding balances be greater than they actually are. The reason may be the booming secondary market for collections. Phantom money can also be the result of a closed bank account that has an overdraft protection line of credit connected with it. Sometimes, that line of credit will remain on a person’s report even after the account is closed.
5. What If There Is a Mistake?
If there is a serious mistake, order your credit report from all 3 bureaus. Then, find out whether you need to turn to the credit-reporting bureau or the lender.
6. Follow Up.
Filing a dispute is not enough: you should follow up. Keep notes of the people you speak with at the bureau or lender, don’t forget when you contacted them and the date by which any corrective action will be taken.
7. No Need to Worry.
You don’t have to take closed accounts off your report, though many people think you have to. In fact, they can even be of help. Credit inquiries aren’t as negative as many believe either.
Remember that it’s too important to review your credit report each year. If necessary, clean up your report, meaning get rid of inaccurate and old information. To clean up your credit report, it’s necessary to order copies of your report from the 3 major credit bureaus or credit reporting agencies, review the reports for inaccuracies or old information, and then ask them to correct the information.