Good credit is crucial in today's economy. Good credit allows you to have credit cards, obtain car or home loan, and to take advantage of many other money-related conveniences. It is possible to live without good credit, but having a bad credit rating can affect you negatively for the rest of your life.
You might be surprised to know that only a handful of credit bureaus in North America hold the key to your credit rating, and therefore your financial future. These credit bureaus receive the positive and negative reports issued by your creditors and create your personal credit report and credit score based on the results. If your credit history is poor, it is important to repair your credit so that you don’t get turned down for a mortgage or even a department store credit card. In order to do this, you must first learn how to deal effectively with a credit bureau.
Begin by finding out what credit bureau has your file. This information will be on any rejection letters you may have from a declined credit application. Next, you’ll need to obtain a copy of your credit history. Remember that you are allowed, by law, to obtain a copy of your credit history if you’ve been denied credit, though some organizations might imply otherwise. You should only pay for a credit report if you want an instant copy, rather than to have one mailed to you, in which case a bureau will send you one for a fee.
It is important to remember that a credit bureau is in the business of collection and selling information. This means that you should never provide them with any information that you are not required to by law, unless you want them to use it against you. It is legally necessary for you to provide the following to get a copy of your credit report:
2. Social Security Number
3. Legal Address
The credit bureau might request copies of your social security card or your driver’s license. If they ask for a copy of your driver’s license as proof of address, it’s best to provide them with a copy of a bill or something else addressed to you instead. You should be careful when providing credit bureaus information, because most own collection agencies and they will use any of the information that you provide to hassle you with the credit and collection issues that you are already trying to fix.
Examine your report closely and note any possible errors. If you have questions about a specific debt, you can mail a written request to the credit bureau that they investigate that particular debt. Legally, the credit bureau is required to document any discrepancies on your credit report, otherwise, if they don’t do this in 30 days, the entire item must be removed. Most of the credit repair companies out there will charge you fees to perform this service, but you can do it yourself for free with just a little bit of time and effort.
Learning to deal with credit bureaus will allow you to engage in successful credit repair without paying a credit repair company a high fee. When you educate yourself in what the legal obligations are that credit bureaus entail, in many cases, you can effectively repair your own credit just as quickly as a credit repair company.