Did you know that 79% of all credit reports have an error on them? And one in four has an error big enough to keep you from obtaining credit. In today’s economy it is more important than ever that we be aware of what’s in our credit report. You can obtain a free copy, direct from the three credit bureaus- Experian, Equifax and TransUnion- by going to www.annualcreditreport.com. You can receive them all at once or access a different bureau every 4 months which gives you the advantage of seeing your credit report more frequently. Whichever you choose, here are a few tips to maintaining a great credit rating:
1) When you get your credit report, go through it line by line. Make sure everything is correct-include your personal information like addresses, social security number, birthdate,etc. Keeping the little things accurate will help avoid big problems (like your file being merged with another person with a similar name) in the future.
2) Pay particular attention to your revolving debt (credit cards). To maximize your credit score, it’s a good idea to keep your credit balances at less than 30% of your credit limit. The balance you see on the statement is typically the balance that appears on your credit report-even if you pay the balance in full each month.
3) Avoid getting a collection account if at all possible. If you are contacted by the collection agency, you have 30 days to resolve the problem (pay the bill or show them the error) before it appears on your credit report. Once it’s on your credit report, however, it’s very difficult to get it removed. Collection accounts can lower your score dramatically even if you’ve paid everything else on time.
Remember that knowledge is power. Find out what’s on your credit report and take an active role in keeping it accurate!
For more information on how to improve your credit score you can contact Brenda Eldredge at Credit Smarts, LLC. firstname.lastname@example.org
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