When you are working to clean up your credit the job can seem overwhelming and too much to handle. To make it easier there are a few simple ways to go about the process that when used together form the best results and more peaceful you. One of the steps to the process of credit clean up is to inspect each of your credit reports and dispute any incorrect information you find. This is vital to not only maintaining good credit but is also important when cleaning up your bad credit and preventing and catching identity theft. Ideally, you should purchase your credit reports once a year and go over them with a fine-tooth comb and dispute anything you find to be incorrect.
There are three major credit reporting agencies Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. They all have a website with ordering instructions on how to pay for and download or print your credit report. There are also sites that offer all three of the reports at once and other services as well. Be careful when considering these sites as they can be a little shady and want you to join as a member to receive their services or special prices. It’s best to stick with ordering and printing your reports straight from the source.
Once you have your credit reports take a few minutes to print each one and staple them together to keep them from getting mixed up. While you will be going through them separately, you will want to compare the information between them as well to check for discrepancies. Once you have everything in order, find a comfortable place you can concentrate with a highlighter and a pen to mark things of question you find.
Generally, the credit report is separated into different categories starting with your personal information, residential information, and employment information. Though the focus of a credit report is one of the accounts, you need to look through these areas to check for name, address, and employment errors because these could be a sign of identity theft. Next, move on to the accounts, collections, judgments, and other sections you need to look for accounts that you have paid that are not marked as paid. Incorrect balances, accounts, and other information. Not only do you need to mark the items you feel are incorrect, but then you will need to go through your financial records to find receipts and other levels of proof to show the information is incorrect. This is your burden to prove the information on the reports is not correct and you may need to contact the companies the accounts are through to try and find out their side of it too, in order to get the information changed to reflect the right information.
At the end of all credit reports are the dispute information and procedures that each credit reporting agency uses. Make sure to follow them down to the exact letter in order to keep your claim from getting thrown out. The creditors have a time frame to look over the dispute and have up to ninety days to make the change and then the credit reporting agency can make the change or take action for you. It does take some time to get wrong information corrected, but the time is well worth it and you could be saving your self money and interest rates in the future.