Check credit reports regularly to identify problematic or questionable items

Credit reports and scores continue to be two of the most important factors when securing financial assistance. From obtaining car insurance, to owning a home, to applying for a credit card, a tarnished credit record and a poor score may lead to major problems for the prospective borrower.

Not only are credit reports important for obtaining a loan, but they may also factor into hiring and renting decisions. Both companies and landlords may check an applicant's credit score to determine how responsible he or she may be with important obligations.

With all of the weight these documents carry, it is important that consumers make sure the information on their records are free from inaccuracies. According to a recent New York Times report, reviewing credit reports is one of the best ways to identify any harmful errors or problematic items.

The news source advises consumers to get a free copy of their credit reports at When looking over these free reports, individuals who find any negative marks on their documents that cannot be verified or that were reported by mistake, may have grounds to challenge them. In some cases, consumers will seek out the assistance of a credit lawyer to help them with the investigation and dispute process.