Fixing Your Credit Rating


Everyone knows that the higher your credit rating scores are, the more access you will have to credit overall and you will also enjoy much better interest rates than you might with lower credit scores. The three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion will all provide one free copy per year of your three major credit reports. Repairing or improving your credit rating begins with accessing your credit reports at the government-authorized site where consumers can request their own reports. The three major credit reporting agencies will not give your credit scores for free, but they will each furnish you with a copy of your latest credit report. If you do not want to go through the government sponsored site, consumers can contact the agencies directly at:

Equifax: 800-685-1111, P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374;

Experian: 888-397-3742, PO Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013;

TransUnion: 800-888-4213, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19022;

When you receive your credit reports, the first thing you should do is to examine them for accuracy. Keep an eye out for credit cards or other credit accounts on your reports that do not belong to you. It is also important to try to remove any negative reports that are over seven years old because they are no longer considered part of your credit history for rating purposes. You should also look for any incidence of duplicate past-due items and other inaccuracies like incorrect an incorrect Social Security number or birth date.

If you do find errors on your reports, you can ask the agency in question to investigate and remove the inaccuracies. The reporting agencies are required by law to check out any errors you bring to their attention. The agency will usually contact the creditor that reported the information to check its records and if the creditor can not verify that the info is correct or they don’t respond to the query, you can ask that the item be deleted.

When it comes to repairing your credit, don’t be tempted to close all the accounts you are not currently using. Closing old accounts will not help your credit scores and will reduce the amount of your available credit and the result could be even lower scores. You do want to pay down your overall debt load though as your payment history is worth about one-third of your overall credit score and paying your bills on time is critical in order to maintain good credit scores. Try not to run all your credit accounts to the limit even if you do pay them on time as some lenders might assume you are at the upper limit of your available credit and decide to turn down any requests for more credit.

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