Credit reporting agencies build their reputation on their ability to present creditors with accurate, up-to-date information. However, they are usually working from public databases and other sources that may not be up to date, or may have incomplete information.
This is why it’s always a good idea to review your credit report to make sure that all the information included is correct and up to date.
When reviewing your report, look for the following:
1. Incorrect or incomplete:
- Phone Number
- Social Security Number
- Birth Date
- Employment Information
- Marital Status
2. Make sure there are no:
- Lawsuits listed that you were not involved in
- Bankruptcies that you filed more than ten years ago
- Lawsuits or judgments reported more than seven years after judgment was entered, or after the expiration of the statute of limitations.
- Bankruptcies in your name. Sometimes these will appear when filed by a spouse or ex-spouse, even though you did not file bankruptcy.
3. Tax Liens
That you paid more than seven years ago, or paid tax, judgment, mechanic’s, or other liens incorrectly listed as unpaid.
4. Commingled Accounts
This occurs when credit histories for someone with a similar or same name appears on your credit report.
5. Joint/Marital Accounts
This occurs when an account appears for which your spouse or partner is solely responsible. Also, be on the lookout for premarital debts for your current or former spouse that are incorrectly attributed to you.
6. Unfamiliar Accounts
This may be a mistake, or may indicate an identity thief’s actions. Before you submit a report, it’s usually a good idea to call the creditor to learn more about the account.
7. Incorrect Account Histories
These can include late payment notations when you’ve paid on time, debts showing that should have been discharged in bankruptcy, accounts that are incorrectly listed as open, or accounts that incorrectly list you as a cosigner.
8. Unauthorized Credit Report Pulls
Sometimes businesses (like car dealerships) will run a credit report when you were only comparison shopping. Remember creditors cannot lawfully pull your credit report without your written permission until you indicate a desire to get credit.
If you’d like to learn more today, we invite you to take advantage of our credit analysis service. We can provide you with a detailed review of your credit report, a budget review, and a plan of action to improve your credit in a way that is effective and responsible.