Spring Cleaning Your Credit Report
April 15th has come and gone.
Now is the time to focus on your credit
Why – what is the big deal?
score is important. Unpaid debts, late payments,
judgments and misreporting will not help you. They will keep
your score low and make it difficult to obtain a mortgage, get a
loan, finance a new car and rent an apartment.
What can I do to clean my credit?
Your first task is to pull a copy of your credit report. You
are entitled to one free report every year. Contact annualcreditreport.com to obtain your
free copy from each of the three major credit reporting
agencies: Trans Union, Experian and Equifax. Or you can also contact each of
those reporting agencies separately for your free copy.
Got report, now what?
Read it carefully. Really carefully.
First, look at your personal information. Make sure
the names, dates, social security number and addresses are
correct. You will be surprised to learn how often there are
mistakes or credit files are combined
Second, check all the accounts that are being
reported. Make sure that the opening dates and payment
history are correct. Remember, credit agencies do not
need to report all your payment history, but what they report must
be correct. Also, debts can only be reported for 7 years.
Third, if there is an error, you must dispute
it. The best way to dispute it is to send a letter via
certified mail to the
credit bureau. Mail this letter and include any proof
that you have to back your claim. You can check out our
sample letter and instructions by clicking
If you dispute the debt, the
Credit Reporting Agency has thirty days from the day they
receive your dispute to respond. If they verify information
that is inaccurate or untrue, you might have a claim under the Fair Credit
Are you confused about your credit
report? Check out our website for
useful information and tips. Still unsure? You need to
understand your rights as a consumer to move forward. SmithMarco has been protecting consumer
rights since 2005. Contact us
today to get your free