Why Your Credit Score Matters
There are several obvious reasons to give a hoot about your credit score, and very few reasons you should ignore it. After all, you’ll need a good credit score and a solid credit history if you ever plan to purchase a home or take out an auto loan. A bad credit score can hurt your chances at renting an apartment or even applying for certain jobs.
The Importance of Checking Your Credit Report
But your score isn’t the only detail you need to pay attention to. You also need to keep an eye on your credit report, which lists your formal credit history, including open accounts, balances due, and payments you’ve made. Poor information on your credit report can easily cause your credit score to nosedive, whereas a clean credit report with accurate, positive information can help your score improve.
Steps to Dispute Errors on Your Credit Report
If you find an error on your credit report, here are the steps you should take right away:
- Inform the credit reporting agency in writing, providing important details about the mistake and proper documentation.
- Keep in mind credit bureaus have 30 days to investigate your claim and are required to inform you of their response. They must also forward the information you sent them to the original provider of the information.
- Provide the company reporting the incorrect information with copies of any documentation proving an error has occurred, including all details necessary to prove your claim. They are also legally required to give you another free copy of your credit report if your dispute caused a permanent change.
Monitor and Protect Your Credit Score
Stay on top of your credit reports and consider signing up for a free service that gives you updates on new accounts in your name or fluctuations in your credit score. CreditKarma.com and CreditSesame.com are two options worth checking out.