Credit Repair: Why Should I Fix My Credit?

Wondering why your credit report is important? Learn why it is critical to fix problems on your credit report.

Once you have identified a problem on your credit report, you might wonder why it matters. Fixing or improving your credit report can be a time-consuming and even frustrating process. However, it is always worth doing.

Today, almost every lender uses credit reports and scores to determine whether you are a good risk for a loan. If you want to purchase a house or a car with financing, the lender will check your credit report. Before issuing a credit card, the bank checks your credit report. Apartment owners often check the credit of potential renters and employers sometimes even check reports on employees before hiring.

Even if the content of your credit report does not prevent you from securing a loan or credit line, a bad credit report may affect the terms of the credit you receive. Lenders offer the best interest rates only to those with the best-rated credit. So, a negative credit report not only can cost you opportunities; it can cost you money.

There are two types of problem people commonly want to fix on their credit report. The first are erroneous reports, for example records of accounts you never held. The second are reports of events that actually occurred, but which have lowered your credit score.

How do errors occur on credit reports? There are many points in the reporting process where errors may occur. Your credit card companies and other lenders periodically report data about your account to the credit bureau. If there is an error in your lender's accounts, it will be passed along. As people enter data there are many opportunities for mistakes. An incorrectly entered social security number, misspelled name or wrong amount can all skew your credit report.

It is important to periodically request a copy of your report from each of the three major credit bureaus. If you have recently been turned down for a loan based on information in your report, the bureaus must provide a copy of the report to you for free. At other times, the reports are inexpensive or free depending on the state in which you live. Several states require the bureaus to offer a free report to each consumer periodically.

When you receive your reports, check them carefully. Make sure you actually have all of the accounts it indicates and that your name address and social security number are all correct. If any of the information is erroneous, it is important to notify the bureaus of the mistake in writing.

Sometimes a credit report has problems not because of errors, but due to actions on your part. If your credit report has some negative marks for late or missed payments, the best thing to do is to pay all of your accounts diligently and on time. As time passes and positive data accumulates, it will gradually balance out the negative marks on your report and your credit score will improve. Unfortunately, it takes very little time for a credit score to sink, but the repair process is usually slow. If you have a major negative event on your credit, such as a bankruptcy, it can take years before a good credit score can be attained again.

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