Checking credit report provides step to financial well-being

Due to federal legislation such as the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, every American is entitled to view their credit report for free from each of the three credit bureaus every 12 months.

Recent research suggests as many as 80 percent of all credit reports contain at least one error, which in turn could cause consumers to receive higher interest rates on mortgages, insurance and new credit lines.

By going through these reports, and highlighting errors, consumers can gain the information they need for a quick credit fix. These financially responsible individuals can also find out if they have unknowingly become the victim of identity theft or have been improperly billed by a merchant.

If this happens, consumers should inform the credit bureaus of the mistakes. However, consumers may find the investigation and dispute process to be difficult and time-consuming, as each bureau needs to be notified individually.

In addition, many lenders may deny disputes if individuals cannot properly document an error, even if an individual is not at fault. For these consumers, speaking with a credit repair attorney may help get disputes resolved more quickly.