Looking to buy a house or car? Rent an apartment? Find a new job? There are plenty of reasons why your credit score matters.
What do you do if your credit score isn’t where you think it should be?
There are a few steps you can take when you need credit repair. The most important is to make sure the information on your credit report is correct.
What to do if you find errors on your credit report?
Read on for the steps you can take to clear up mistakes and give your credit score a boost.
What Is a Credit Score?
Your credit score is made up of positive and negative entries on your credit account. The longer your credit history, and the more positive entries, the higher your score.
There are three major credit reporting agencies, Transunion, Experian, and Equifaxcredit. Each credit reporting agency has its own system for credit scoring. It isn't unusual to have poor credit with one agency and a fair score with another.
While each agency has its own scoring model, they all emphasize similar things. The largest factor in credit score is payment history, making up around 35 percent of your score.
Next is credit utilization
This is the percentage of your available credit used. It makes up about 30 percent of your score.
The remaining factors are less important and include the length of time you've had credit, how long it has been since you last applied for credit and the types of credit you currently have.
Mistakes are common on credit reports; don’t just assume that you earned a low score. Request a copy of your credit report from each agency.
If you see information that doesn’t make sense, do some more research. Common errors include closed accounts reported as open, debts still being reported after seven years, and accounts listed more than once.
Even if you correct the damage, deletions often require contacting the credit reporting agency directly.
Validate the Information
Request your credit report directly from the agency. You can also see your credit score and any negative marks if you apply for a new credit card.
Whether your card application is approved or denied, you get a letter stating which credit agencies the card company pulled your history from, your score, and any derogatory marks.
Negative marks on your credit report include the name of the creditor. If the bill is still with the original debtor, you probably recognize the information.
The company may sell the debt to a collection agency. If this happens, the name listed on your credit report may not be familiar.
How to Correct Errors for Credit Repair
If you determine there are mistakes, you are ready to dispute the error.
Reporting mistakes is straightforward. You should have an answer within 45 days letting you know the results, although they typically provide a much quicker response.
The easiest way to file the dispute is online. Dispute any reports you believe to be incorrect from the entry on your credit report.
Disputing the error by mail is another option. Send a letter disputing the claim to each credit bureau. Include any information you have that supports your case and the confirmation number from your credit report
Send the letter certified, return receipt requested. This way you know your letter was received.
You can dispute errors by phone. This should be your last choice. Disputing online or by mail provides documentation.
Improving Your Credit Rating
If, after looking for negative accounts, you still have what is considered bad credit, you may need help with credit repair.
Get in touch with us today.
We can check your credit rating with each bureau and help you get the boost you need.