How to Review Your Credit Report

| March 30, 2010

If you listened to my advice in my earlier article you have a copy of your credit report. Now it’s time for you to review it to make sure that everything on it is correct.

Back in 2004, a survey was done by a US organization named PIRGs, 79% of the survey respondents had incorrect derogatory information or their credit reports. The erroneous information affected the way creditors looked at their credit profile and some respondents were denied credit as a result of the errors. 79% is a large number. If the findings in that survey hold true across America, there is the good chance that you have mistakes on your credit report too.

Here’s how to go through each of your credit reports to find negative mistake and eventually have them corrected.

  • Step 1: Check your name and address and Social Security number. You would think that the basic demographic information would be correct but many credit reports have incorrect information starting with the basics so don’t take anything for granted.
  • Step 2: Go through each account to make sure it belongs to you. Often times individuals with common names such as Joe Smith, end up with delinquent accounts from one of the other Joe Smiths. Therefore, you need to go through each one of the items on all three of the credit reports to make sure they all belong to you (do this even if your name is not Joe Smith).
  • Step 3: This third and final step is the most time consuming part of the process. If you have the three credit reports (from Experian, Trans Union and Equifax), you might want to take one report a day, depending on how many entries are in your credit reporting history.Credit-Cards

After you have confirmed that each account belongs to you, you must check to see if the information was reported to the credit bureaus correctly. This will go easier if you have backup documentation such as you Quicken register or bank/credit card/loan statements.

What you’re going to do is go through each item and make sure that it was not inadvertently reported as a delinquent or missing payment, incorrectly classified revolving accounts as installment accounts or visa versa, shows incorrect credit limits, unsatisfied liens, judgments or loans. Review each and every item. Don’t take anything for granted because mistakes can happen at any point in the process.

What to do with the credit report information:

Once you’ve gone through the painstaking process of pulling out a magnifying glass and going through each of the credit reports, depending on what you found will dictate what you do next. If you’re like the 79% of the respondents of the US PIRG survey, more than likely you have found an issue or a problem on your credit report.

Next were going to discuss how to dispute credit report errors.

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Category: Credit

About the Author ()

Felicia A. Williams is a wife, mother, freelance writer and owner of Tidbits About Money.

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