A new year has started and what better time to start repairing your credit. Albeit an exhausting and sometimes frustrating task, it is an important one. You credit score should be tended carefully as it can have large implications in the future. Here are some tips on how to repair your credit.
Request A Copy OF Your Credit Report: You can’t fix your credit report if you don’t know what is there. First obtain a copy of your credit report. You can request a free copy from the three credit bureaus once per year and you should really take advantage of this. If you want to see your credit score, many websites offer the report and score at a low price.
Review Your Credit Report For Mistakes: You should check your credit report for any mistakes, as this is a great way to catch identity theft and other crimes being committed against you. Negative information stays on your credit report for seven years. If there are any old collections still being reported you can request these items be removed. If your credit limit is showed incorrectly or items are missing you should also notify the credit bureau as well. In order for your credit report to work as designed, it must be accurate.
Contact The Credit Reporting Agency: If there is an error write to the CRA via certified mail, return receipt requested. In your letter, document which items are incorrect or incomplete and why. If you have supporting documents, send copies of these as well. The CRA has 30 days to investigate and verify the information they are reporting. If they can’t verify the information’s accuracy, they must correct or remove it from your credit report.
Contact The Furnisher: Contact the company that provided the information and let them know which information is wrong. Include any documents that support your findings, when submitting the letter. The furnisher must list the item as disputed on your credit report while it is undergoing investigation.
Ask That Accounts In Good Standing Be Reported: If you have a short credit history, you can request that the CRA report any accounts that are in good standing. Accounts in good standing are not normally reported and the CRA is not required to do so. Many CRA’s will include any information they can verify but may charge a fee.
Practice Good Credit: Once you have started correcting your credit, don’t let it lapse. Practice good credit and continue working on correcting the bad credit that you have. Paying your bills on time, not maxing your credit cards and balancing the number of open accounts you have can all help to maintain your good credit.
Don’t forget to keep records of all the correspondence you have with CRA’s and furnishers. If the first contact does not work, try again. If you cannot get items on your credit report corrected yourself, contact an attorney to help you. Repairing your credit and score may take a long time but in the end it will be worth the hassle.