Cleaning Up Your Credit Report has its Benefits

For many, our credit report is not in the forefront of our minds, yet taking a look and making sure everything is in order is definitely in our best interest. Our credit history is what credit scoring companies, like FICO use to generate a credit score to indicate creditworthiness.

So don’t wait until you need to borrow for your new home or automobile – check it today. By improving your credit health, you may qualify for better rates and terms.  Here are some things to get you started.

Obtain your credit report – you can get a free copy from the three major credit reporting agencies every year by going to AnnualCreditReport.com

Check for Accuracy – make sure all identifying information is correct, such as your name, current address and correct social security number. Go through all the accounts and confirm they are yours. If you do not recognize an account check with the credit bureau, mistakes happen, or you may be a victim of identity theft.

Remove old negative information – after seven years you can have any of it removed from your record. However, Chapter & bankruptcies remain for ten years.

Fix inaccuracies right away – all three bureaus have online dispute forms: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Dispute the error with the agency that reported the mistake. The agency will investigate the issue and notify you of the outcome. If a correction is made by one agency, it should be electronically updated with all three credit bureaus.

Follow up – be sure to check your credit report again and make sure the agency followed through with the corrections.

Remember, your credit report is an important piece of your financial foundation. Keeping an eye on your report and cleaning up mistakes will help keep your credit score financially fit.

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About Ann Zuraw

Ann Zuraw, the voice behind "Chicks, Chat and Change", is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®), and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA™).If you have comments on this post contact Ann Zuraw

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