Thanks to Lexington Law for sponsoring this post!
Have you ever checked your credit report?
If you're planning on taking out a mortgage or refinancing your current mortgage, keeping an eye on your credit report is incredibly important. If there are incorrect items on your report, they can bring down your credit score. And that can mean that you won't qualify for the lowest rates. The higher rates you will get mean that you will pay more each month!
You'd be surprised what might be on your credit report. The first time I checked mine, I found all kinds of errors. Credit cards that didn't belong to me. Incorrect names and addresses. And lots of other errors.
You can get your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion) for free, no strings attached, according to U.S. law. Be sure not to sign up for any other services when you request your reports.
Head over to annualcreditreport.com to get your credit report. Better yet, get one credit report every four months - say, Experian in January, Equifax in May, and TransUnion in October. That way, you'll be able to check what's going on regularly, and make chances if needed. You do not need to pay to get your credit report!
Once you have your report, what should you do? You should check each service's website for the procedure to follow to fix errors. Minor errors, like misspelled names, can be fixed via the credit bureau's website. But for larger errors, like someone else's information on your report, should be handled in writing. Write a letter to the credit bureau asking for the change and mail it, return receipt requested, to the credit bureau. Send it through the US mail return receipt requested so that you know it's been received by the agency.
If the credit bureau does not respond to your request within 30 days, you have the right to have the erroneous information removed from your credit report. However, do not use this process to request that bad, but not erroneous, information be removed from your account. That would be unethical, in my viewpoint.
If your credit report is riddled with errors and you don't feel that you can correct the errors yourself, then you might consider turning to a credit repair agency. Companies like Lexington Law can help you keep on top of all the paperwork and laws that you must follow. In my opinion, most consumers can handle the process themselves. But if you credit report is an absolute mess, and you don't mind paying a fee to fix it, then check out credit repair agencies.
A few minutes of credit report checking and fixing can really help your bottom line by cutting your expense of borrowing money - it's definitely worth the time and effort to check your credit!
(This post is sponsored by Lexington Law may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.)