Have you checked your credit report lately to know exactly what is on it? No matter your credit score it’s always best to stay up to date on your report, if for no other reason to make sure your identity is not being used fraudulently.
Federal Law now requires companies to allow you to check it for free once per year. You can request yours by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com. Do NOT use any of the other companies which may look similar to this, as they are not the correct program and could cost you money.
Just click on REQUEST YOURS NOW at the top of the page. It will take just 3 simple steps and you will get a report showing all agencies, or just those you want to see. I would recommend you select all of them as some things may be correct with one company, but in error with another.
As an alternative, each credit reporting agency will also provide you with one free report annually and you can request them individually. I recently checked mine through Experian to track my report and score as I’m trying to work on increasing my personal credit score for the future.
A credit report can look scary especially if you have missed a few payments, or have old medical bills, student loans or more, but don’t let it get to you. Remember: Your credit report does NOT define you, but you can use it to help better yourself and your life, if you so choose.
As you review your report, you will see the good, the bad and sometimes – the ugly. As you review your report, make sure that all items you see are in fact yours. It could mean that it is time for the item to be removed from your report, an account which you never opened or even incorrect information. It is up to you to review these to make sure they are correct.
Most negative items will fall off of your report after a period of seven years. In the case of bankruptcy, Chapter 13 will remain on your report for seven years and Chapter 13 will follow you for 10. This is part of the reason you need to check your report. You need to make sure those negative accounts are removed when the time has arrived.
Just because you have a lot of items on your report does not mean that it is a bad thing. A good report will show solid payment history and long standing accounts. These in turn help increase your score.
If you find something that you feel is in error, you need to dispute the item. Each company has it’s own way to report this. You may find a button in the side bar or next to each item.
Each company will have it’s own dispute form. This is what you would see if you disputed one through Experian.
Enter all information, making sure it is correct. Once you are done you may be asked to once again verify your identity. Remember that you need to complete all sections of the form and then submit before it is actually considered sent. Make sure you do not click out of the form too quickly.
Make sure that you only dispute what you have legitimate reason to dispute. I know this sounds like a no brainer but you can get into trouble for trying to fraud the system. Once you’ve filed your dispute they will take you to a screen showing your disputes and that they are pending. They have 30 days to talk to your debtors and see if the disputes are legit and to make an answer. Once an answer has been reached you will receive notification of your accounts and what happened.
I know this can all be overwhelming, but it truly is worth it, especially if you’re working towards goals of purchasing a house, car or anything else and you don’t want to pay super high interest rates. This step by step is quick and easy and takes you through all the steps on how to dispute items on your credit report!
*I’m not a financial advisor and I do not work for any of these companies. This is not a sponsored post or credit advice. It’s an informational post on my own experiences with my own credit report and disputes.*