When you look at your credit report, do you know what you should be looking for? Everyone tells you that you should review your report once a year, but if you don’t know what to look for, it will not do you much good. The next time you look at your credit report, follow these tips to make sure you are getting the most out of it.
Check All The Identifying Information
Make sure you look at all the names, addresses, and even the social security numbers that are appearing on your report. It is common to find misspellings on your report. However, if you start seeing other names or addresses that appear to be associated with your SSN, you may have a problem. This is a sure big red flag and usually means that someone is trying to steal your identity. If you see that, make sure you get that fixed as soon as possible.
Examine All The Creditors
You should review ever single line on your credit report. Make a note of any creditors that you are not familiar with. Look over all the balances you have and check to make sure that they are accurate. Look for any differences you find. Once you have all of these, you can take steps to dispute and challenge anything that you see that is in error.
Watch For Late Payments
Late payments will have the single biggest impact on your credit score. If you see late payments showing up on your account, check to see if it was truly late. Sometimes there are errors and a late payment is reported even when it was not late. If you find this, make sure to report this to the credit bureaus and have it fixed. Finding these errors can have a significant lift on your credit rating.
Review All Of Your Public Records
This section will show bankruptcies, foreclosures, tax liens, and collection. These types of financial pitfalls will also have a big effect on your credit score. Review this section carefully if you have experienced any of those things. Double check to make sure that the dates are reported correctly. A lot of these are time sensitive and having the correct date can have a big effect.
The more you go through your credit report, the more familiar it will look. You will be able to find the errors faster and know what to look for. If you do find errors, make sure you take the proper steps to reporting them to all the credit bureaus. Submit your claim with any evidence you have. When the bureaus receive your claim, they must start an investigation and remove anything that is not correct. Do this at least once a year and your credit score will stay healthy and safe.