Do you regularly check your credit reports? If not, you can start now and make a habit of it. Checking credit card reports regularly is the best thing that you can do for your score, as the references and information stated on the report comes directly from your lenders and states your entire payment history. Unfortunately, lenders often make accidental mistakes when it comes to reporting the information which is why you should always check the credit report to see whether the information is accurate. If the information is incorrect, you can easily dispute it before it’s too late.
Following is a step by step DIY credit repair guide with which you can repair or improve your credit score. Once you have made the habit of reviewing your credit report regularly, the rest will become very easy to follow.
Step 1: Request the Free Credit Report from Each Credit Card Bureau
You are entitled to one free credit report every year from the 3 major credit bureaus i.e. Experian, Equifax and TransUnion due to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act. You can easily get the free report from here. It’s also wise to request a free report directly from the credit reporting companies.
Step 2: Audit the Credit Reports Carefully
The information that will be provided to you via the credit report is compiled and sent by the same companies whom you have credit accounts with. Keeping this in mind, the goal that you should opt for shouldn’t only be to fix the credit report but also, to make sure that the information provided in the report, is accurate with the original source. When reviewing your credit card report, here’s what you should look at;
- Personal Identification
- Types of Accounts
- Consumer Statement
- Public Records
- Hard Credit Inquiries
- Soft Credit Inquiries
Step 3: Settle the Dispute/ Inaccuracies by Sending In a Request
Once you discover any discrepancies within the credit report, the obvious step is to request a dispute on the inaccurate item. You will have to wait 30 days after sending the request to the credit bureau because in that time, the creditor who issues you the card will be contacted and asked to respond to the dispute. If the creditor fails to respond within 30-45 days, the bureau will automatically remove the account or correct the discrepancy.
Step 4: Request New Credit Report from Each Credit Agency
You will have to wait another 3-4 weeks before requesting a new and fresh credit report for the other bureaus once the dispute has been resolved. This waiting period is solely to give the creditor enough time to report the corrected data to the bureau so requesting a fresh report will tell you if the inaccurate item was removed or updated.
We hope that these DIY credit repair tips proved to be helpful but if you have any specific questions to ask regarding your credit report, check out our Ask a Question feature and benefit from our experience.