Let's face it - your credit rating is everything. Whether you're looking to buy a new home, a car or get a new credit card, your credit will make or break you.
My question to you is this: When was the last time you checked your credit report? I mean actually sat down and went over your report line by line?
Did you know that you can get your 3 credit reports for FREE once a year? I do it every single January and then take the time to go over it, highlighting questionable entries and contacting the bureaus if I have any questions.
There was a time that my credit was less than spectacular, due to stupid mistakes in my 'youth'. Keeping an eye on what's on the report as well as going exclusively with online banking has increased my rating tremendously.
So, what do you do? It's easy. First - go to annualcreditreport.com and register. Keep this in mind - there are a lot of websites out there that say you'll get your reports for free but watch out for those catches like having to sign up for credit monitoring services. Annual Credit Report.com is THE official site for your annual reports. If you go to any other site, read the fine print and do a Google search to check for reviews on that service.
Fill in the information needed for each credit bureau then print out each report. If you have any questions about an entry, call that bureau. If you have a question on your Experian report, you have to call them.
The big thing is this - don't be afraid to get credit counseling in your city. There are services, many usually non profits, that will sit down with you and help you get back on track to building your score. I did just that and it helped tremendously. I learned what to do and not to do when it came to working on my credit scores, paying off old accounts and how to challenge questionable entries on my report.
It doesn't take that long to check up on things and, in this day and age of ID theft, having the ability to check things out is priceless and very necessary.
I am in no way, shape or form a credit expert. Please seek professional help and guidance when dealing with credit questions.