Top DIY Tips for Fixing Credit Reports
There and endless services and agencies online who promise to improve your credit score for you, for a fee. Whilst credit monitoring can be worth the money to the right people, most of us can opt to try and fix our credit reports for free and by our own efforts. With a bit of common sense and knowledge about the credit score formula, it’s possible to recover from a poor credit score and make successful applications for future loans, cards and other types of credit. More important and immediate is the need to inspect and correct your credit reports, so that you are not being unjustly punished because of discrepancies in your report. The process is a simple three step procedure, but it can take a long time and involve a lot of paperwork; so get ready to fill out a lot of forms.
Get your Report(s)
American citizens are entitled to a free credit report every year, one from each of the three national agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.) A lot of people choose to apply for these reports 4 months apart, to allow them to access their reports 3 times a year rather than once. However, if you’re trying to fix your credit reports yourself, then you should apply for them all in one go as your first step. By accessing all 3 reports, you can have a wider variety of information to work with and begin to improve your financial reputation.
Check for Errors
With the amount of modern opportunities for credit, the high density of information transfer and the different data used by the three agencies; it’s not uncommon to find errors on your credit report. Most of the time these will be small discrepancies and have little impact on your score, but every now and again a big mistake can be made or a collection of small mistakes can accrue and have a considerable impact on your credit score. Check for items as simple as typing errors and as radical as incorrect or outdated information, make a record of these errors yourself and make sure you document them correctly.
Dispute and Claim
Now is the time to use that information to try and rectify the errors you have found. Write to the credit bureaus that have incorrect information on file for you, and make sure that you take copies and document all of your claims. Be very clear and meticulous in your instructions and ensure that there can be no misinterpretation of your claims. Include any supporting documents to prove that the errors are indeed errors, such as sales receipts, credit contracts and tenancy agreements. Credit bureaus are lawfully obliged to investigate your claims within 30 days of receiving notice; any action taken will be communicated to you along with a free updated copy of your credit report.