Is poor credit keeping you away from your dream of owning a home someday? This is a position that many people find themselves in, essentially halting this next step in their lives. Fortunately, your credit score isn’t static. It can and does change over the course of a person’s life. If you make wiser credit decisions whenever possible, you will see improvement in your score over the following months and years.
The first, and possibly easiest, smart credit decision that you can make is to obtain a copy of your credit report.
Mistakes are Made
Knowing your credit score is important, yes, but actually seeing your credit report is much more informative. You might know exactly what your debts are an where you’re in the deep red, but you have no idea as to what errors may be on there.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for errors to be present in credit reports. For this reason, you should go over the document with a fine-toothed comb and ensure that even the most basic of identifying data is correct. Make sure that your SSN, name, address, past and current employers and the debts present in the credit report are accurate, 100%. Mistakes made on a credit report can really drag down a person’s score.
If any questionable information has come up on your credit report, reach out to the reporting agency via certified mail. Keep a detailed log of these exchanges. The reporting agency has to respond to your claim within 30 days. If the debt in question cannot be verified, it will be removed from your report and will no longer impact your score.
If this requires more time and effort than you can afford, or if you’re too perplexed by the process to understand how to proceed, you can recruit the help of a credit repair agency.
Identify Theft is a Real Issue
A person’s identity can be stolen without their knowledge. This happens quite often, with many victims of identity theft not being aware of it at all until they’ve picked up a copy of their credit report. Fraudulent uses of your identity can deeply impact your credit, so anything suspicious should be handled right away.
If you see anything on your report that is not familiar to you, this may have happened to you. Reach out to the credit reporting agency to address this matter and keep it from continuing to effect your credit score.