Thursday, May 14, 2009

The First Place to Start When Trying to Improve Your Credit Score

Many individuals look for a quick way to improve their credit score and find there are not many options. The whole goal of your credit score is to help creditors determine if you will default on the loans they provide. To do this, years of information about you is taken into account. For example, the largest part of your credit score is your payment history and seven years of this data are put into the equation to help determine your score. This is true among the other parts of your score in differing degrees. But don’t give up hope there is another route you should go.

What if the information about you was not correct? This would make your credit score potentially lower. You might be thinking this could not be the case because the accuracy of the credit bureaus is what the financial market relies on to keep credit flowing. You would be wrong. A common estimate is around 70% of consumer credit reports have errors on them. Some of the information could just be a misspelling, but often is a negative entry that could be hurting your credit score. Therefore, there is a large chance you have these damaging errors and having them removed is a great place to start when trying to improve your credit score.

The first step in this process is to get a copy of all three of your credit reports. Since your credit score will vary by the information put into the equation, you need to check each one. The next step is to develop a method of recording all errors or questionable information you find. This will come in handy later. You then must go through each report and every section on the reports. Here are some things to look for based on the section of your report.

Personal Information – This information will not be included in your score, but is worth a thorough review. Errors here could be as simple as a misspelling of your name, but more ominous ones could be addresses that you do not recognize or ones you have never lived at. These could be a sign of a much deeper problem, identity theft. That is a completely different discussion though.

Account History – Here there will be a lot of data and common errors would be any late payments still reported by your account that were older than seven years. These can be removed.

Credit Inquiries – These are any time your credit report has been reviewed with the goal of granting you a new line of credit. Any of these older than two years can be removed.

Bankruptcy or Collections – If you have gone through a bankruptcy and it is older than 10 years, it can be removed. Also, individual sometimes see double collections. This happens if you have defaulted on an account and this initial account sends you to collections. The debt is then sold to another company who was not paid and they too send you to collections. These double collections for the same debt can be removed as well.

Just as stated above you should have been making note of anything you found because next you will want to research each to confirm it is an error. The next step is to fill out an online dispute form with each credit bureau. You can do it through other means such as a mailed letter , but online is much easier. You will include the item you are disputing and any pertinent information you have found. Make sure you make a copy of what you are submitting and use this as your method for follow up.

After the disputes are submitted, the credit bureau will have 30 days to respond back. Once submitted, an investigation will be conducted that will include contacting your account to verify the disputed item’s accuracy. If the information was found to be false, it will be removed and you can request a new copy of your credit report for free. If the credit bureau responds stating that the item in question will remain, you must then contact your account to dispute it with them.

In the end hopefully inaccuracies will be cleared and you will get a boost to your credit score. Then you can turn to the more long-term methods of raising your credit score.

This article was provided by Kyle from Credit Score Insight. Kyle's main area of focus is your credit score and the goal of his site is to help you get an excellent credit score. Check it out.


rb77 said...

This information is most valuable in today's debt default environment. As your fico score is becoming more of a factor in other areas like car insurance (why?), but it is.

Good information..Ric

autosellernetwork said...

All information is incredible and I am sure people must have got valuable and effective knowledge from this post.
Autoseller Network