Whenever you apply for credit to make a large purchase such as a house, car, or other big ticket item, understandably, the lender wants to make sure you have the ability to pay it back. They'll assess your financial past by reviewing your credit report which contains data from your credit card accounts, loans, and historical data such as bankruptcy, foreclosure, and repossession of goods. If you've never dealt with these problems, then you are in the clear and on your way to getting the loan you need. However, if you've fell on some tough times, your credit report may not be as glowing as it could be. Follow the steps below to help clean your credit report and ensure you are able to get the loans you need to fulfill your life goals.
- Obtain a copy of your credit report and analyze it thoroughly. Your credit report is a direct representation of your financial background and no one besides yourself is going to make sure that it represents you well. Obtain a free copy of your report from the website Annualcreditreport.com and go over it line by line looking for inaccurate or out-of-date information that can be removed. Some things to look for: lawsuits, accounts sent to collections, criminal records, and late payments older than seven years; bankruptcies older than ten years; credit inquiries older than two years; overdue child support older than seven years; accounts or lawsuits that are not yours; being accused of late payments; closed accounts that are listed as open; and closed accounts that are not listed as "closed by consumer." All of the above are eligible to be removed from your report.
- Request in writing that inaccurate or out-of-date information be removed. Use a "request for reinvestigation" form that can easily be obtained by the credit bureau. Provide any additional documentation that will prove your case. Each item will be investigated, usually within 30 days, unless you specify that you are trying to obtain a loan, in which case the investigation can be rushed.
- Send a 100 word letter to the credit bureau. If you are unable to reach a resolution, send a 100 word letter that details the discrepancies. Again, provide any additional documentation that will prove your case. It will become part of your credit record and will be included in any report sent to a lender, telling your side of the story.
- Contact the creditor directly. If you have difficulty getting results with the credit bureau, contact the creditor by writing to the customer service department. Ask them to contact the credit bureau on your behalf.
Although cleaning your credit report can be a long and sometimes tedious process, its well worth the time and patience. With a little bit of effort, you'll clear your name and be able to achieve the things in life that you want.