Whether you like it or not, the ugly truth is your credit report and credit score have a great deal of power. They serve as key tools that measure the financial risk you pose to lenders. The higher the score, the lower the risk. Credit scores and reports are used to determine whether or not you are approved for a mortgage, loan, or even a bank account and can positively and negatively affect the interest rates on your credit cards and other borrowing methods. Therefore, it is extremely beneficial to do what you can now to improve your credit score and resolve any errors on your report. This will prevent this information from haunting the remainder of your financial life.
According to a recent Federal Trade Commission report, more than one-in-four credit reports contain errors. Make sure to check your credit report for errors or potential fraud. Georgia consumers receive two free copies of their credit reports each year. Visit the websites of Equifax, Experian and TransUnion for your free credit report.
Keep in mind that these are the only free resources to receive your official credit reports. Do not fall for any other company that advertises “free” credit reports because these companies will make you sign up and pay for other services. You may also visit https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action
After you check out your credit reports, the next step to take is to fix any errors. Contact each of the three reporting agencies to report the errors, and begin the process to correct them. This often requires sending in a letter, including your name and address, exactly which items you’d like to dispute and why. Include copies of supporting documentation and a copy of your report with the errors circled or highlighted. Also contact the provider of the incorrect information and have it fixed on their end, so the problem does not reappear in the future. If you still encounter issues, visit The Federal Trade Commission to learn more about your rights when dealing with credit reporting agencies.
It’s always good to be building good credit because this will help you out in the future. Here are some quick and easy tips on how to maintain a good credit score or make some necessary improvements:
For more information, visit BBB’s Managing Credit – Made Simpler. There you will find tips on paying off balances, managing your budget, getting financial help, and protecting yourself from credit fraud.