Information listed on your credit report will influence all of the financial paths you choose. Mortgage, insurance and credit card issuers all utilize data from your credit reports during their respective approval/evaluation processes. In addition, it has become very common for employers to run credit checks of potential employees during their highering phases. When applying for credit or insurance, erroneous and/or fraudulent info on your credit reports can equate to higher rates or even worse, the decline of your applications. You may also not get the job you are seeking if you credit report is not accurate. From correcting inaccuracies on your credit report to checking for errors, the tips below advise you on how you can maintain healthy and accurate credit reports.

Check your credit report on a regular basis!
The best thing you can do to protect yourself is get a free copy of your credit scores regularly from all three bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) every six months. Doing so will allow you spot any inaccuracies quick, before too much damage is done. If you know you are going to be buying a home, new car or some other sort of large purchase, you should obtain a copy of your credit report at least six months before your purchase. This will give you enough time to correct your credit report before they have any negative impact on your purchases. Learn more about the importance of getting a copy of your credit report before applying for loans or credit.

Enroll in a credit monitoring service!
Another crucial approach to take to ensure that your credit report is protected is to enroll in a triple bureau credit monitoring service. As a member your credit reports will be monitored 24/7 and you will be notified of any type account activity. These services are great for detecting identity theft and/or account inaccuracies. You can get a free trial to credit monitoring service to see how it works.

Understand what is it that you are looking for!
Learn how to read a credit report!
Spotting a late payment is easy. However, there are other types of critical errors/inaccuracies that are more difficult to discover. Check the date opened, balances, account status, and notes for every account in each of your three credit reports to see if anything looks not normal. Also look for inaccurate inquiries and/or public record reports. Even the smallest of inaccuracies can have a very negative impact on your credit score. It is important to note that typography errors in your employment or address will not damage your score. However, you will need to immediately correct any errors in your birth date, SSN or other piece of identifying info. These types of errors can adversely effect your credit score and profile.

Report all inaccuracies and errors immediately!
It is very important that as soon as you discover any type of incorrect info or your credit report that you begin the process of getting the info corrected. You will likely be able to get your credit report corrected by contacting the creditor that is reporting the info inaccurately and ask them to fix it. If they are responsive, they will update the file that they have on you with the corrected info and send it to the credit bureaus the next time they update info with them. If you are unable to get the mistakes corrected by contacting the creditor, you will have to submit a dispute letter to the credit bureaus and request for them to investigate and remove the information. Learn how to write a dispute letter (sample dispute letter). The credit bureaus have thirty days to conduct their investigation and render a decision.

It is important that you keep check your credit reports regularly to ensure your information is always accurate and up-to-date. Doing so will ensure that you are maximizing your potential credit worthiness when applying for any type of loan or credit. In addition, checking your credit regularly also helps you quickly identify any potential identity theft.

What is a FICO Score?
How Are Credit Scores are Computed?
The Impact of Inquiries on Your Credit Report
Effects of Having Bad Credit
What are the Hardest Credit Items to Fix?
Credit Report FAQ
Things That Hurt Your Credit Score
Credit Report Secrets
How Long Do Negative Marks Stay On My Credit Report?




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