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When Is the Last Time You Checked Your Credit Reports?

February 8th, 2016 · No Comments · Credit Reports

by Credit Info Center

Credit Report on ChalkboardIf you don’t remember, chances are it’s time to check again. At a minimum, you want to check your credit reports once a year. But if you’re trying to repair your credit, or your personal information has been compromised recently, it’s a good idea to check more frequently.

Here’s how to check your credit reports, what to look for, and what to do about it.

Go to AnnualCreditReport.com.

If it’s been more than 12 months since you’re checked your credit reports, you can see them for free at AnnualCreditReport.com. Be sure to request all three of your reports through the major credit reporting bureaus – Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

Sign up for free credit report monitoring throughout the year.

You can continue to see your credit reports for free through credit monitoring sites like Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, and Quizzle. That said, keep in mind you will be asked to provide personal information necessary for them to access your credit reports.

Look for erroneous/negative listings.

Take note of anything wrong on your credit reports that could be dragging down your credit score, like late payments, collections, and charge-offs.

Learn how to read and interpret your credit reports.

Send letters of dispute to the credit bureaus.

Once they receive your dispute letter, the credit bureaus will contact the appropriate creditor or collection agency to verify the listing. If the listing cannot be verified, then it must be removed from your report. Here’s a collection of sample letters to tweak so you don’t have to start from scratch.

Learn more about disputing listings with the credit bureaus.

Be patient.

You cannot rush the process. The credit bureaus have 30 to 45 days to respond to your disputes. Then, if you’re not happy with their response, you can dispute directly with the original creditor or collection agency. The key is knowing what you can do, doing it, and letting the process work its way through.

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