This week we will be reviewing how to repair your credit. Today we’ll start with the basics: obtaining and reviewing a copy of your credit report.
First, you should know that there are 3 credit reporting agencies: Experian, Transunion and Equifax. Once you get a copy of your report, you might see that your creditors report everything to each agency and in some cases the creditor may report to only 1 or 2 of the 3. Don’t be alarmed, this is totally normal.
How Do I Get A Copy Of My Credit Report?
GoFreeCredit.com is a free service for consumers that offers consumers the opportunity to check their credit and access their free credit score online to help consumers protect their credit score and defend themselves against potential identity theft.
What Should I Look For?
- Incorrect late payments
- Balances reported incorrectly
- Duplicate accounts
- Incorrect public or collection accounts
- Accounts that don’t belong to you
- Late Payments
Also, check your name and addresses. Make sure the basic information is correct. Then you want to look at the inquiries, checking that the correct inquiries are being recorded. If inquiries are listed that you did not authorize then you may need to dispute these as they can reduce your score depending on how many were processed within a certain period of time. However, hold off on doing this as you may have bigger fish to fry if your report contains derogatory information.
Are there any late payments? These are usually in color coded format with late payments in yellow or red. Make sure these are correct, that is you were indeed late for each month that you were listed as late.
Check the collections section for any collection accounts you have have that are active or obsolete. We will discuss obsolete items in greater detail later. If this sections has items listed, take the time to review the account history based on your knowledge and determine the accuracy of the reporting of this account. Make note of the amount, date of first delinquency and when this item is scheduled to be deleted.
Rinse wash and repeat. Check the item, amounts etc and determine if the listing is correct.
If you don’t want to do all of this yourself then hire a credit repair company to do this for you.
When was the last time you looked at your credit report? Was it accurate? What did you do about it?