Buying a home, a car, furniture, acquiring credit cards, and even landing a financially sensitive job can all require a good credit rating. Credit health is becoming more and more important for Americans as society further develops its standards for lending, and even determining the trust-worthiness of an individual.
Of course, mortgage lending has tightened significantly and your credit scores and the details in your credit report will be scrutinized by the lender’s underwriters. But many employers now are also checking credit reports of their potential work force to ensure their hired employees are not in financial turmoil or cannot be trusted to pay their bills. If a bank teller owes tons of money to creditors, are they more likely to embezzle? Some employers say ‘yes’.
So what’s this one simple step to improve credit rating? Know what’s on your credit report! And you can do it for free once a year. In fact, the three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian and Equifax) are required to make this available to every single individual they hold a report on. You actually have three credit reports on you- one by each credit agency. And they have set up a simple system to provide these. Its called AnnualCreditReport.com.
Just click on the link above and go through the steps to acquire your free credit reports. Once you’ve downloaded each report, READ IT! Know what creditors are saying about you. Make sure everything reported is correct. If you find a mistake, you can challenge the information with the bureau it’s reported with.
If your claim can be verified, or if the creditor does not disagree with your challenge, you can have the misinformation removed. If there is a dispute about the information and you cannot prove otherwise, you are allowed to add a note on the report to provide your side of the dispute. Potential lenders will see these notes when they check your report to determine if they will extend you credit.
Be warned though; these credit bureaus will try to up-sell you other features of your credit reports, like selling you credit scores. The credit bureaus are required to show you a free copy of your report, but not to provide you with their scoring of said report. I’m not saying these services are bad, but they will cost you money.
If your credit health is important to you, know what is on your reports. And review them once a year for good measure. And if you have any questions, please feel free to ask using our easy Contact Us form below, or just give us a call!