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You should scrutinize your credit report

By Faye Mergel
Published: Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

An application for either credit or financing would pull his or her electronic records from one of the three main nationwide consumer reporting agencies. These three are Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. These companies are the ones in charge of the maintenance of correct and current credit information all throughout the nation. The billions of electronic data that they have to handle in order to provide such information makes it inevitable that there would be errors in the reports. A large percent of the population would have at least an inaccurate detail on his/her credit report.

The very nature of data collection makes it imperative for the consumer, you, to shoulder the burden of verifying the content of your own credit report. Ensure that you get three copies of your credit report, one from each of the three main agencies. Keep in mind that you are allowed to one copy every year at no cost and you should use these free copes. Denial of credit entitles you to another free one if denial was within the previous 60 days.

The internet is another tool that you can use to procure your credit report. Immediate online access to your credit report is now being offered by many companies. Trial of the credit monitoring services being offered by many companies for a month gives you a free credit report, as well as keeping track of your credit and stopping would-be identity thief’s cold on their trail. These services alert you by your mail account in the event that your name and social security number has been used in applying for credit. Even if you didn’t use this service, you just have to alert one of the three main bureaus of fraud and the bureau you alerted will also alert the other two.

Scrutinizing your credit report keeps you from experiencing unpleasant surprises when you’re considering buying a home or if you just have to get that credit card since it’s use is to evaluate you when you apply for employment, housing…you name it! Knowing what the credit grantor would see when they see your credit report will allow you to challenge the erroneous information contained or to have them removed altogether. It also makes it possible for you to explain your circumstances to the creditor so you can work out a compromise.

Here are some tips in finding incorrect information

  • Thoroughness in examining the minutest detail helps. Any inconsistency should be verified as soon as possible. Law requires credit bureaus to deal with these inconsistencies in a sensible amount of time
  • Writing an original letter of dispute makes the agents at the credit bureaus take you more seriously. Using dispute letters available online for free means thousands of people also used that same letter.

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