Your credit score notifies lenders and others how well you manage your credit. The credit score is a numerical representation of the information recorded on your credit history report. Each of the three credit reporting agencies maintain a record of information about every individual in the U.S. who has obtained a credit account at some point. However, these companies may not have the same information about the individual. This is why your credit score from one company may differ for your credit score from another credit bureau.
Obtain Your Credit History Reports
If your credit score is lower than you would like for it to be, the first step is to obtain your credit histories from each of the three credit history tracking companies. Each of the three companies must provide you with a free report each year. Equifax, TransUnion and Experian joined efforts to create a website where you can request your one copy of your credit history report from each of the three companies, once per year. You can start the process of fixing your credit scores by getting your free credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com.
Examine Your Records
Carefully examine each of the reports to determine the problem areas. Once you understand the entries that are lowering your credit scores, you can work to repair your credit by resolving issues with these lenders. For example, if you have an account that has been referred to a collection agency,
you can work with either the original lender or with the collection agency to resolve this debt. Though the entry will remain on your record once it is paid off, the record will also reflect that you have paid off the account.
Work with lenders to resolve any issues recorded on your credit history report from each of the three companies. Request payment plans to pay off unpaid accounts. If you are behind on payments, work to get these accounts current. Address any entries that you believe are errors on each of your reports.
Resolving Errors on Credit Report
Errors do show up on credit reports from time to time. If you suspect that an entry on one of your credit reports is listed in error, contact the corresponding credit bureau and dispute the entry. The credit bureau notifies the creditor, and then the creditor has 30 days to validate the claim. If the creditor is unable to validate the claim, the entry is removed. Each of the credit bureaus’ websites provide information about how to dispute an entry on your credit report.
Pay Bills In Full and On Time
Fixing your credit scores will take time. You can raise your credit scores by consistently paying your bills in full and on time. Avoid maxing out credit cards and make sure to always have an available balance on each account. Avoid applying for new credit accounts until your credit scores are in the desired range. If you consistently apply these principles, your credit scores will rise and your credit history report will soon contain positive information about your creditworthiness.
Remember, some aspects of fixing your credit score may be outside if what you are capable of handling on your own. In may cases you might need to hire a credit repair expert who is trained to deal with the creditors, credit bureaus and even collection agencies to get your credit issues resolved. These professionals will charge you a fee for the work they perform, but if you do your due diligence, you will, in all likelihood, see positive results from these types of services.
I didn’t even know I had some errors on my credit history that had lowered my score by over 100 points. I was able to contact the credit bureaus and dispute several of the issues. Once it was fixed, I saw my credit score moving back to where it was before the errors showed up. I got some good information at Credit Flare which pointed me in the right direction to contact the credit bureaus.
Mike M. – Little Egg Harbor Twp, NJ