Well, if you haven’t checked it in awhile, it’s time for a check up. According to the National Consumer Law Center Report released in January 2009, it estimated that six million or more have credit errors. So where do consumers start? First, you may order a free copy at www.annualcredit report.com. My suggestion would be to subscribe to a monitoring service where you can monitor your progress. It is important to get a service where you can see your credit scores. Also, review all your credit reports, not just from one credit bureau.
I have compiled a list for you to get started. You will want to start from the bottom and work your way down. In my experience, consumers may be most successful by submitting disputes a little at a time.
Summary, this is where you need to ensure that your name, address, employment, etc are all correct. Start first by sending a dispute letter to the credit bureaus and get this updated first.
Mortgages, make sure you mortgage is being updated and the balance is correct. If you have old mortgages that have been refinanced, make sure they are updated and closed. Some major errors in this section may be that you payment may be still reporting. This is very important as it relates to your debt to ration.
Revolving, you want to make sure that the company is reporting your credit limit. Often times, this information is incorrect and reports wrong. This could affect your credit utilization individually and overall credit utilization.
Installment, make sure all your accounts are closed in this section, if you have paid an account off. The fico score takes in consideration the number of open accounts. In my research, and reviewing files, collection accounts are reported as installments accounts. You want to make sure there are no collection accounts in your installment section.
Collection, the secret here is that your accounts are not being re-aged or duplicated. You may find the same accounts reported multiple times under different company names. The account number changes and the balances tends to change. It is a good idea to reflect on old credit reports to see what the “date of last activity, and open date is” Collection companies sell accounts all the time and in the process your dates may get change. The date is very important because collection accounts only stay on your file for seven years.
Public Records ,ensure that your dates are accurate and if the amount is reported corrected. You may find duplicates in this section as well. Some companies may file a judgment and the collection still reports in the collection section. Be careful of duplicate accounts.
Inquires, you may want to review your file for inquires that you did not inquire about. Often times, consumers are unaware about inquires related to auto purchases. You may have only signed one application, but your application is shopped to many lenders. Make sure when you are seeking a car loan, you give permission for each inquiry. You will be surprised how many inquiries show up that consumers did not authorize. Inquires only stay on your file for two years.
Last, make sure you dispute old and outdated information that is more than seven years old.