Steps to Improve Your Credit

If you want the lowest interest rates possible and the ability to get the credit you need, you will really need to keep an eye on your credit report at all times.  Your credit report holds the key to your credit future and as such, you need to pay attention to what it says.  Remember that each of the three credit bureaus are responsible for a lot of credit reports and cannot ensure that each one is entirely accurate.  That is your responsibility and is not something that you should take lightly.  Many people do not take the time to pay attention to their credit report.  In fact, it is imagined that almost 70% of credit reports carry some type of error.  Correcting these important, so how should you go about this if you discover an error on your credit report.

Check Often and Regularly
You should check your credit report often.  In fact, since you can get one report from each of the three credit bureaus each year, take full advantage of this opportunity.  Try to check your credit report at least once every four months if possible.  Remember, sometimes a mistake will only appear on one of your reports.  This means that you need to pay careful attention to each report and never assume that something is correct.

Don’t Call- Use Another Method
If you find a mistake, it is tempting to call the credit bureau and try to resolve it quickly.  Don’t make this mistake.  While it is tempting to call first, this leaves you with no evidence.  You want to be able to prove that you contacted them and when should the case ever need to go to court.  Sending a letter is a great idea.  Rather than addressing your letter to the credit bureau in general, find out the name of a company executive and address the letter to them directly.  In addition to a letter, include a physical copy of your report with the mistakes clearly marked and explained.  Also include all of your contact information like your name, phone number, address, other contact information and social security number.  You want them to help you, make the process as easy as possible.

In your letter, remind the credit bureau of their legal requirements.  They have very specific obligations given to the consumers when the Fair Credit Reporting Act was passed.  They must investigate any claims of purchases made by another, incorrect pricing, charges for services that you didn’t receive and computational errors.  They have 30 days to investigate or correct your claims.  Remind them of their requirements and encourage them to act.

A Letter Won’t Fix it All
Once you put that letter in the mail, don’t assume that your report will automatically be fixed.  It will probably take a lot more than that to correct your problems.  You may have to make many calls to the credit bureaus and other associated institutions.  As you make your calls remember that patience is important.  Don’t lose your temper even when things get frustrating.  People are more likely to help you when you treat them with respect.

Take Notes and Write it All Down
As you talk with the credit bureau, make some notes.  Write down details like who you talked with, when and what they said.  It is unlikely however, occasionally you do have to go to court and if you do, you will want evidence.  When someone says that they will do something, don’t take their word for it.  Ask for confirmation numbers and written letters outlining what they have agreed to do. 

Contact a Lawyer if Absolutely Necessary
Going to court isn’t what anyone wants, however it may be necessary if there is a major mistake on your credit report.  If there is a mistake that will greatly affect your report and you can’t get it corrected using other methods, hire a lawyer and head to court.  This can be a hassle, so only pursue legal channels if you can’t find another way to resolve the problem.

Taking care of your finances and paying your bills on time will help you keep your credit report in pristine condition.  If you do discover a problem, act quickly.  The quicker you move, the more able you will be to correct them.  Remember mistakes happen and it is your responsibility to monitor your credit report at all times. Learn about debt secrets to improve your credit as well.