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Credit Self Help

Credit self help is a topic on a lot of people’s minds in this slumping economy. With so many people unemployed and the foreclosure rate at its peak, improving your credit score can often help get you through such uncertain times. Building good credit is an ongoing process; however, there are a few things you can do to get the ball rolling.

The First Step

Before you can do anything, order your credit report from each of the three major reporting agencies. Experian (www.experian.com), Equifax (www.equifax.com) and TransUnion (www.transunion.com) all provide slightly different reports, so it’s important to get all three so you have the most accurate idea of what your credit score is. You can also get information from all three credit bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com.

Ordering your credit report may cost you around $10 depending on what state you’re in, but you won’t have to pay for it if:

  • You’re unemployed
  • You were denied credit because something in your report
  • This is your first time requesting your credit report this year
  • You lost your job as a result of information within your credit report
  • You suspect fraudulent activity or identity theft

Look Closely

Once you receive your credit report take the time to look over it carefully for any factual errors. Errors can be found all over your credit report, and they can negatively affect your credit score. You shouldn’t be penalized for something you didn’t do, and often catching errors in your credit report is the easiest and quickest way to improve your credit score.

That being said, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you recognize all the accounts on your report? If not, this can be a major red flag for identity theft.
  • Are there any mismarked accounts? For example, did you pay everything on time, but there are late payments notated? This mistake can drag your credit score down in a big way.
  • Are old accounts you closed in the past marked appropriately, or do they appear to be open still? Closed accounts should be notated with a phrase similar to “closed by consumer.”
  • Is there anything that’s too old still on your report? All credit inquiries older than 2 years shouldn’t still be on there, as well as payments that were late, accounts sent to creditors, etc. that are more than 7 years old.
  • Is all your personal information correct? Make sure the credit reporting agency knows exactly who you are by verifying your name, address, phone number, date of birth, social security number and any previous addresses.

What to do if You Find a Mistake

If you find a mistake within your credit report, you need to notify the reporting agency in writing. That’s where someone like Creditelves can help you. They know exactly what to say to help your letter stand out and get noticed, to help speed the disputing process. Their templates will compile your important information regarding your claim – things like specifics about the mistake, proof of the error, all of your personal information that will help the reporting agency easily locate your account and anything else that will help them understand your unique situation.

After they receive your written notification of a potential error, they have 30 days to let you know if, and how, they’ve resolved the issue.

Monitoring your credit closely and fixing mistakes on your credit score is an excellent way to keep your credit in good shape. For more tips and tricks on credit self help, visit www.creditelves.com today!

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