There’s an old Woody Allen line that 90 percent of life is just showing up. So it goes with your credit report: knowing where you stand is the first and most important piece of the puzzle.
At the very least, reviewing your credit report can alert you to possible errors, mistakes, and billing and bureaucratic bungles that can adversely impact your credit score. Make no mistake: fixing credit report errors is a solo mission. If you do notice an error in your credit report, it’s up to you to fix it.
The good news is that correcting a mistake on your credit report is highly doable. The keys are due diligence, alertness, persistence, and keeping your documents in order. Let’s have a look.
Step One: Get a (free) copy of your credit report. Getting a copy of your credit report has never been easier. To get your free copy, visit a site like AnnualCreditReport.com. The Federal Trade Commission approves it and it won’t spring hidden fees and charges when you sign up, like some other sites do. You can get a specific credit report from one of the three credit scoring agencies: Transunion, Equifax and Experian.
Step Two: Review your credit report. When you get your credit report, review it thoroughly. Ideally it’s best to get reports from all three providers, as their scores and calculations differ. Check for discrepancies among the different credit report providers. Look for notices of late payments – credit card companies are getting particularly aggressive and are dinging consumers left and right for tardy payments. Check for credit inquires, as well. Nobody can check your credit report without your permission and too many credit inquiries can bring your credit score down.