It Pays to Respect, Protect and Correct your Credit!
Your credit score is like your footprint. It indicates where you have been and how you have responded to the world of credit as a consumer. Your credit rating is a very valuable commodity for you to own, protect and use to your best advantage. It pays to repair! A government based report indicates that 23 percent of consumers have mistakes on their credit reports serious enough to result in the denial of credit. Credit scoring by the three credit bureaus will determine the interest rate you will be offered to make major purchases.
Here are a few recommended tips to improve your credit footprints!
Find out what is lurking in your file! As a U.S. consumer you are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and Trans Union. Go to the government-mandated Web site: www.annualcreditreport.com for a free report!
- If you retrieve your credit report from the above agency, you can dispute errors online. You can also write letters to the three reporting agencies.
- There should be no “late payments, collections or charge-offs” over seven years old on the report. This is very important. Approximately 35 percent of a credit score is based on timely payments! Have these removed.
- Credit reporting bureaus do not always update “paid in full” accounts. If you have paid off installment loans, update each bureau. Each of these accounts should indicate a zero balance.
- Look carefully at each account. Do you recognize them as yours? If not, contact the creditor immediately to compare your name and Social Security number with the one they have. If invalid, request a “validation of debt” or “media packet” which will provide details on the true account holder. If this is identity theft, then request a fraud affidavit from the creditor. Follow up immediately by filing a police report of the theft.
- Credit limits on the credit report should always match your recent credit card statement.
- Keep balances below 50 percent of the available limit; less than 30 percent is even better for your overall credit rating.
- Get an explanation for the “reason codes” that factored into your rating.
- The dates that you opened accounts should be accurate.
- Stop paying late. Even one day late will show up on installment accounts!
- Call Advantage Arizona Real Estate when you are ready to get serious about owning a HOME of YOUR OWN! We are here to help you reach that goal. 602.573.3103 or complete the "Contact Us" form and we will call you right away. Thank you!