If you are looking to make a big purchase like a house or a car or want to apply for a credit card for any reason, the prospective lender or creditor will look at your credit report to see if you qualify. Whether or not they allow you to borrow the money needed for the item or give you credit to spend will be based on what they see on your credit report.
The first thing to do is pull a copy of your credit report. The three main credit bureaus are required to give you a free copy of your credit report each year. These reports will not include the credit score, but will provide you with the other information provided to lenders who request your information. Information on your credit report with each credit bureau might be slightly different, so it is good to check each at some point in the year.
After you have pulled your credit report online, review it to see if there are any inaccuracies. Make sure that each account listed is correct. If there is a wrong item on their, you will need to contact the credit bureau through their simple online reporting tool. Good items can stay on your credit report indefinitely, but most negative items can only be on there for 7 years. Chapter 7 bankruptcies can stay on your credit report for 10 years, and unpaid tax liens can remain for up to 15 years. If you find that a negative item has stayed on your credit report longer than the designated time, you will want to make sure to report that to the bureau as well. If you have any problems with one credit report, make sure to check your credit reports with the other two bureaus to see if they have the same inaccurate information.
There is no legal way to remove accurate information. Any company or individual who promises to do so for a fee is probably scamming you. The best way to fix bad credit is to focus on building good credit. While negative items can remain for seven years or more, they will have less impact on your credit score as time goes on. By practicing good credit habits in the future, you will be able to show that the problems in your past do not truly reflect your current financial situation.
To find out more specific ways to improve your credit and find out ways to escape from debt, talk to a credit counselor. A credit counselor can review your credit report with you and explain why items are good or bad, and what can be done to improve your credit in the future. A good credit counselor has experience with the ins and outs of credit reports and can provide you with the appropriate financial analysis.
Once you have actively taken steps to improve your credit, you will find that you will qualify for better loans and offers from credit companies. Of course it is important to continue using your credit positively so to keep your credit decent.
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