Monday, February 21, 2011

How to Verify Your Credit Score is Accurate

A credit score ranges from 300-850 with 850 being the higest score. Your credit score is obtained when applying for credit, a loan or a job. Your credit score is viewed as an indication of your trustworthiness and your ability to pay your bills on time. The three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion use different evaluation systems and criteria to determine your credit score. Each credit bureau may provide a different credit score for the same individual.

A good credit score ensures you get the best terms possible which can include lower interest rates, discounts, little to no downpayment, no hidden or extra fees, no upfront costs and more. Seventy-five percent of Americans have at least one mistake on their credit report and seventy percent have at least one major mistake on their credit report. These statistics show how important it is to view your credit report and make sure that you dispute any errors and get them corrected immediately. Here are 7 steps to help check your credit report and ensure your credit score is accurate.

1. Order. Order a copy of your credit report from or call 877-322-8228.

2. Annually. Check your credit report at least once a year especially before a big purchase or if you suspect identity theft.

3. Verify. Verify all information on your credit report is accurate including personal information such as SSN, address, date or birth, name spelling and suffixes, account balances, history, statuses, open and closed dates, etc.

4. Dispute. Dispute errors as soon as you notice them. Dispute online or by mail. Disputing online takes two weeks, disputing my mail takes four weeks from the time of receipt of your dispute.

5. Consistency. Information will not be the same on all 3 major credit reports. TransUnion only reports information for the past 2 years. Experian and Equifax may have different information for the same account and may list different accounts on each report.

6. Negative accounts. Ensure negative accounts that are 7 years old or older are removed. Inquiries that are 2 years old or older should be removed.

7. Get current. Get current on any late accounts. Judgments, tax liens, repossessions and collection accounts lower your score the most, then mortgage and credit cards payments.

No comments: