If you’re interested in improving your credit score, one of the first steps to take is to review your credit report. You’ll want to make sure there aren’t any errors and to come up with a game plan if you find any discrepancies.
First, know what information should be on your credit report. In addition to your credit history, your report will likely contain the following types of information:
• Personal identifying information: Your full, legal name, social security number, birth date, previous addresses, and, possibly, your previous employers or your spouse’s name
• Positive accounts: Credit cards, installment accounts, lines of credit
• Public records: Liens, judgments, and bankruptcies
• Inquiries: Any individual, business, or agency that has requested to see your credit report
Deciding whether to enjoy better credit on your own or with the help of a credit repair company
Review and make certain that all of the information is correct. There are many kinds of errors that can appear on your credit report, everything from a mistyped digit in your social security number to credit accounts that belong to someone else with a similar name. Checking personal information should be easy, but finding errors in your credit history can be more challenging. While you can certainly inspect a credit report on your own, a credit repair company can be very helpful identifying and disputing errors on your credit report.
Second, make certain that creditors and collection agencies haven’t broken the law when reporting to the credit bureaus. Creditors and collection agencies must meet specific statutory requirements in order to report information about you, and Lexington Law Firm can assist in that regard.
Here are some of the most common errors that show up on credit reports:
• Incorrect names, previous addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, or previous employers. This information is some of the easiest to recognize errors in, but also some of the most commonly incorrect information. Because names, numbers, and addresses change frequently and can be very similar to other peoples’ information, it’s no surprise that they’re often out of date or altogether incorrect. Fortunately, this personal data has no impact on your overall creditworthiness.
• Make sure all of the credit accounts listed belong to you. Conversely, check that none of the credit accounts listed belong to someone else or are otherwise incorrect in their reporting.
• Closed lines of credit should appear as such. It’s not unusual for a closed line of credit to continue to appear active on a credit report. If you’ve closed a line of credit, it may still be listed, but should be noted as closed or canceled.
• Confirm that the balances are correct. See that everything is current with regard to payments and balances being carried.
• Negative listings that should have been removed. Generally negative marks on a credit report should cycle off after seven years,10 years for bankruptcies, and 15 years for tax liens.
Finding and disputing errors, and ensuring that creditors and collection agencies are reporting information as the law allows, can be a challenging and sometimes overwhelming process, but a credit repair company can help. Lexington Law helps you become part of the credit conversation through time-tested services that incorporate innovative credit bureau challenges, creditor interventions, and other credit repair methods that make full use of the many consumer rights available to you.
For more information on your credit report or to get help from a credit repair company, contact us today.