How To's for Building a Better Credit Report
There is a file on you. Sounds ominous doesn't it? That file is called your credit report. If you've ever applied for a credit card, bought a car or insurance of any kind, there is a file on you. It's full of information about you, how often and how promptly you pay your bills (or not),whether you've been arrested or sued and the big one, bankruptcy.
There are three main reporting agencies and they take all of this collected information and sell it to creditors, employers and businesses who use it to decide whether or not you are a good credit risk. Having and maintaining good credit makes it easier for you as the consumer to get a loan at lower interest rates. Lower interest rates equal lower payments. So, you can see how important it is to know what your file says about you.
The FACT Act states that consumers have the right to know what is in their report and all three credit reporting agencies must provide this information when requested. To get your free report go to annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228 to complete the request form. This service is absolutely free once every 12 months and will allow you to receive reports from all three reporting agencies. No one will ask you for a credit card like the ads on television. You will need to provide your social security number, name, address and date of birth.
After you receive your report, it's important to review it for accuracy. If you find anything that you see as incorrect, that must be addressed with the credit company in writing. Send copies of documents that support your position along with your name, address and the facts of the situation. Be sure to send the documents by certified mail so you know it was received.The credit company will provide you with written results of the inquiry.
Either the item in dispute will be removed or it will deemed accurate. If the latter then only time will remove it. Negative information can be used for 7 years while a bankruptcy will stick for 10 years.
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