Last week we had a question about protecting yourself against identity theft. This week, our question is about how to repair your credit when it has been damaged.
The first step to repair your credit is to obtain a copy of your credit report. As I mentioned last week, you can do this at AnnualCreditReport.com. Look over the reports carefully. Take your time and make sure it’s accurate. There may be errors or outdated information. The credit agency won’t charge anything to fix your report, but it does take a little work on your part.
Even if you’ve already requested a free report, you may qualify for another one. Here are the reasons:
1. You’ve been turned down for credit
2. You’re unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days
3. You’re on welfare
4. Your report in inaccurate because of fraud.
Be sure to follow their instructions to contest an error. This should be done in writing, but you may also call the credit reporting agency if you need help. Once you claim that something on the report is an error, the agency will contact the creditor. At that point, it’s up to the creditor to say whether or not it’s an error. If they agree, then the creditor should contact the other agencies and tell them to correct their reports.
Tomorrow I’ll talk about why it is important to repair your credit.
If you have a financial question for Ross, you can use the Marino on Money page.