Have You Pulled Your Credit Report Lately?
Information found on credit reports and that three-digit number called a credit score havebecome such integral decision-factors in our lives. Do you feel as though you are now judged upon your credit report and credit score more than ever?
We have the opportunity—and the right—to see our credit reports and ensure that they are accurate, which is especially important before you apply for a loan. Here are some steps to taking advantage of the FACT Act to monitor your own credit:
- Pull your credit regularly at www.AnnualCreditReport.com. We are entitled to one credit report from each of the three bureaus every 12 months. That translates into three credit reports per year for FREE! If you really want to stay on top of your credit monitoring, pull one report every four months rather than pulling all three at once.
- Keep in mind that we are able to dispute inaccurate information. If you see something that just doesn’t look right, dispute it with the credit bureaus by going directly to their websites or by writing to them. If the item is negative, but it is indeed accurate, it will have to stay on the credit report until it is due to come off (generally 7 years for negative information).
- Anything a credit repair company can do legally, you can do for yourself. Just as you can pay someone to cook your meals, clean your house, and mow your lawn, you can also pay somebody to “clean up” your credit. Save yourself some (or a lot of) money by writing your own dispute letters.
- Keep a paper trail. One advantage of sending a dispute by mail is that you can include copies of supporting documentation and send them by certified mail. Always write down who you talk to, when you talked to them, and any other pertinent information each time you speak with a creditor. It’s easy to get lost in large organizations with multiple international call centers.
If you have any questions, would like to discuss your financial challenges, or are just looking for advice, please call us at your convenience. As always, we are here to help and look forward to hearing from you.