Follow 3 steps to clean up your credit report and raise your score
You may have to go for credit clean up solutions in order to make your credit reports free of errors that in turn may help raise your score to some extent. You can clean up your credit reports just by following 3 easy steps – ordering copies of your major credit reports, highlighting inaccurate information and disputing them with the credit bureau(s) that have been reporting the wrong information.
Read on to know how to clean up your credit reports in order to make them free or errors, which in turn, may help increase your score to some extent.
1.Order copies of 3 major credit reports
First off all, order copies of your credit reports from 3 major credit bureaus, namely, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. You're entitled to get a free report from each of the credit bureaus annually and usually need to pay fee for getting reports more than once in a year. However, you can get free reports more than once under certain circumstances. For instance, you can get a free report when you’ve been denied a loan or you’ve been a victim of identity theft.
2.Examine credit reports for errors
The next step is to examine credit reports for errors. You should mark all inaccurate information along with out-of-date information (if any) in each of your 3 reports.
Inaccurate information consists of -•Late payments when you’ve paid on time •Accounts that don’t belong to you•Any closed accounts mentioned as open•Incomplete or wrong address, name, date of birth, phone number•Incorrect SSN (Social Security Number) or employment details
Out-of-date information consists of - •Any credit inquiries made prior to last 2 years of time. •Bankruptcies being reported on credit reports for more then 7 years (in case of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy) or 10 years (in case of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy). •Judgments, lawsuits and other adverse information that are more than 7 years old.
3.Dispute errors by writing to the bureaus
Disputing inaccurate information in credit reports is a major step in the credit clean up process. To dispute inaccuracies in reports, you need to file a dispute letter to the specific credit bureau that is reporting the wrong information. To do so, you should fill out a form that is provided by the credit bureaus. It is better if you make a copy of the particular credit report/reports and highlight inaccuracies in them. Attach the highlighted report along with the credit report dispute form. Make sure you also mention why the information is inaccurate. You should also provide enough documentation to support your dispute. Usually, the credit bureaus investigate the matter within 30 days time unless they consider your dispute as a frivolous act.
Once you dispute errors in your reports, you should also inform your creditors and/or other information providers by writing to them that you've disputed particular items. You should also attach copies of necessary documents as evidence. Make sure to send letters by certified mail with return receipt requests and keep all correspondence for future reference.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Justin Scott is associated with the Creditmagic Community making regular contributions as a member of the community. Not only has be made notable contributions to the community, he has also written articles for different financial websites.