Repair Your Credit Report Before Anyone Sees It!

If you have experience credit problems in the past, you should seriously consider cleaning up your credit and trying to repair the credit report on files with the three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. Clearing up problems on your personal credit report will help you qualify for all types of loans and financing; furthermore, better credit scores will help you get better rates on necessity items such as an automobile and help you be approved for getting into rental properties. Therefore, here is a quick step-by-step guide to help you begin clearing up your credit history and report:

Step 1 – Know Where You Stand

The very first step in cleaning up your credit reports is to request copies of your credit reports from all three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. Many states require that you are provided with a free copy of your report once a year – if you request it. However, if you have to pay for the reports, you can purchase them for about $9 each.

Step 2 – Review Your Reports

Once you have received the copies of your personal credit reports, sit down and review them very carefully. Look for any errors or accounts that do not belong to you. Make sure to jot down any discrepancies on a note pad and keep them handy. Also, check to see who has been checking your credit. There will be a section that lists the companies or agencies that have requested a copy of your personal credit report. If there are inquiries that you did not authorize, write those down as well.

Step 3 – Dispute the Inaccuracies

There are at least minor errors on nearly everyone’s credit report; therefore, you need to be sure they are corrected or incorrect information is removed all together. Therefore, you will need to file a dispute with the credit reporting agency. You should dispute inaccurate dates, amounts and other inaccurate information in your credit report. Furthermore, you should make the credit reporting agency aware of any inquires into your credit report that you did not authorize.

Sometimes, you can dispute the errors on your credit report online or by phone; however, it is always best to dispute them with a letter that is sent in the U.S mail. In your letter, list all inaccurate information and inquiries that you did not authorize. Furthermore, demand that the agency provide evidence that the information is accurate or to remove it. Make a copy of your letter and send the original to the address listed on your personal credit report for information corrections and disputes. Always make sure to send the letter via Certified U.S Mail, so that you will have proof of mailing, delivery and acceptance by the reporting agency.

Step 4 – Wait

After you have mailed the dispute letter to the credit reporting agency, you will need to simply wait for their reply. Once the agency receives the dispute letter, they will contact the creditor that listed the inaccurate information on your report. The creditor will then have 30 days to verify the information on the report with the agency. If the creditor is not able to verify the information or fails to do so within 30 days, the agency will more than likely remove the information from your credit report. In the case of unauthorized inquiries, most agencies simply remove them from your credit record (this helps your credit score as well).

Make sure to repeat the process for all three credit reporting agencies. Remember, you can dispute any inaccurate information that you find. If the creditor cannot verify the information, the credit agency will remove it. By removing even one or two negative entries in your credit report, your scores will improve. Also, there are many legitimate ways to clean up your credit report; however, there are many scams out there also. Always dispute only truly inaccurate information, and never attempt to deny debts or amounts that you actually owe. Doing so may cause the credit reporting agencies to reject legitimate disputes from you in the future.