Credit is a very important tool in today's society. Most of us cannot typically purchase a home, car or pay for other major expenses right out of pocket or even from a modest savings account. Therefore credit is a necessary component of our financial future.
Your credit history and profile are stored on what is known as your Credit Report. The information on your Credit Report is gathered by Credit Bureaus. These Credit Bureaus get information on your repayment history and your financial status through public records and through creditors.
Credit Reports are available to most consumers at no cost once per calendar year. Otherwise they are available for $10.00 or less.
You should obtain your credit report yearly at the very least and check the report for false or inaccurate information.
The first thing to do upon getting your credit report is to make sure that your name, birth date, and social security number all appear correctly. The next thing to do is to review your accounts and make sure that the information regarding the accounts is accurate. For example, if an account is listed as open and you have closed the account, this needs to be corrected. Or, if you see a notation of a late payment when you have record that you have paid the account on time, this also should be corrected. Also note if any public records against you are listed such as bankruptcies, court judgments, or similar documents.
If you find any information that is not accurate, the Fair Credit Reporting Act protects you and allows you to dispute items on your credit report. They must respond to your inquiry and verify the information within 30 days. You have the right to dispute information on your credit report and you should take full advantage of the protections and rights listed under the Fair Credit Reporting Act to keep your credit report current and accurate.
It is very important for you to maintain your credit report. The credit report holds the information about your credit worthiness. Mortgage Lenders, Car financers, Store credit lines, and even some employers will look at this information to evaluate your background and creditworthiness. Having a positive and highly rated credit report can help you get the mortgage rates and monthly payment you desire, can get you a better deal when you purchase a new automobile, and so much more.
Repairing and maintaining your credit report may be one of the more time consuming activities you do, but the results will be extremely beneficial in helping you to establish your financial future.
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