Fix Your Credit Report Yourself!

You may think you know your credit history, but surprises lurk. Before applying for a loan, a line of credit or even for a job, you should take a look at your credit reports to make sure there are no errors.

If you have already been turned down for credit the company would have to let you know in writing which agency had negative information on you. With letter in hand, you could call the agency and ask for a free copy of your credit report.

There are three credit reporting agencies and they store separate scores sometimes with a wide margin between them. Each report could show different errors. Mistakes happen fairly often so check the report carefully starting with your personal information like your name, your date of birth and your Social Security number.

Then you check the information on each account. You may find that a loan you had paid off long ago is still listed and still active. The account may be in the name of a family member or someone with the same name as yours.

Check that there is only one account for each creditor. You will want to check that there is no one else using your credit. If you are a victim of entity theft, the sooner you discover this and start to clear this record, the better off you will be. Identity theft can cost you about 180 hours to deal with the matter and around $1,000 in costs so that alone is a good enough reason to check your credit history on a regular basis.

Checking your own credit report will not have a negative impact on your credit score. To get your free credit report, go to Or you can phone toll free 877-322-8228. As the name implies, you are entitled to one free credit report per year.

If you find something, find proof of the error and send it via certified mail to the credit agency that has the error. The address of the bureau is on the credit report.

They have 30 days to ask the company that placed the negative information to submit their rebuttal. If the company doesn't respond within 30 days, the credit bureau has to remove the negative information.

If you find enough of these errors, you will see a good improvement in your credit scores in about 30 days after that. You can decide if you need to work with a credit repair agency to negotiate with your lenders.

You can check out my web site to get the 'civilian's' point of view and research results in navigating the traps of credit repair and the impact of bad credit on your life that you may not have been aware of.
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