Finding free credit repair tips is a worthwhile endeavor of any credit repair process...looking into what you can do for yourself.
The first and foremost of free credit repair tips one can give is to order their free annual credit report. That is where the information that is stored and used to determine your credit score is located.
If you have not accessed the link for this elsewhere on this site here it is again. www.annualcreditreport.com
That yearly federal one is free and in several states before the federal law was instituted that allows everyone that copy for free these states already had that provision in place.
Those being Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Vermont.
So if you live in those states you will be allowed a second one during that same year at no cost. This will probably take a phone call to each of the credit bureaus that you attempt the 2nd report after the free federal one. The website (annual credit report.com) is strictly made for the yearly federal report. So once you access it you are done for the year.
This action is the important first step as much of credit repair is done by first determining what is in your report and correcting any misinformation.
Along with the misinformation comes lack of critical information.
These two together can have a sizable impact on your credit score if they are not in check.
Your free annual credit report is not just one report but three from each of the major credit reporting agencies or as some call them the credit reporting bureaus.
You can order all three of your reports at annual credit report. com.
Checking to make sure that the information is the same at all three agencies is another important step.
One of the free credit repair tips that many may not realize the potential of, is to ask for the free credit report that you may access when you have been turned down for credit by a credit card company or for insurance.
This is your free chance to first find out why you were turned down (though many times you may know) but what if there is information that is incorrect and you weren't aware of the inaccuracy?
If you had started the credit repair process earlier and now you have applied for new credit and been turned down, this is your chance for another free credit report. You have the option to obtain one for free for 60 days after the rejection.
Many do not use this option to continue what they had started or to make sure the misinformation has been corrected and worse nothing new added incorrectly.
What about that critical information such as the credit limit of an account? It may have been reduced or worse omitted without your knowledge.
This is important information that is used to establish your credit worthiness. Your limit has direct connection with how much credit you have available and how you use it. For a good score, the credit bureau or lender establishing your credit will be looking for you to stay under using a third of the total credit limit. Missing or incorrect information will hurt you.
That credit limit and your use of it is a big part of your creditor's decision making process and needs to be checked regularly by the consumer.
So not taking advantage of every chance is a mistake.
Remember you have 60 days to respond to the notice that says you have been denied.
You may also request a report if you are unemployed (as many are)
and you are looking for a job in the next 60 days.
This is important and valid as more and more employers are looking at credit reports as part of the decision making process in hiring a new employee.
Again this will not be available on the annual website and you will most likely need to call, though Equifax does appear to have an online option for "other" free reports. I personally feel calling is best.
Toll free credit bureau numbers
Another reason to obtain a free credit report (but I hope this is not, so for your sake) is if you have been the victim of identity theft.
But even if you are only the possible victim of identity theft and you are checking for inaccurate information as a result of that theft or possible theft.
To give an example:
When my son was 12, a situation occurred that resulted me in fear of another person trying to steal his identity. A credit card arrived in his name. I had someone a bit older than he living with me for a short time. As they were close I was afraid he had talked my son into something.
Turned out the older person was innocent. My darling son had signed up for the credit card and the prize for doing so was a subscription to sports illustrated and a picture of cheerleaders for one of the professional teams. Children WILL keep you hopping!!!
That is still a valid opportunity to view a credit report, in that case it was his and not mine though.
To this point all the varieties of obtaining your credit report for free have been discussed.
What about other free credit repair tips.
Among the important free credit repair tips is that of disputing incorrect information contained in your credit report.
You can call the reporting agency yourself (just what credit repair companies don't want you to do).
The agency will outline what steps you must take. Many times it is suggested by many companies and others that you need a special letter to do this.
I have personally disputed items in my report and there was nothing special in the way of an outlined letter needed, yet these are times that are critical in this regard and now it is advisable to follow a well documented procedure. Or as many call it a paper trail. Document! Document! Document!
You will need to do the work of finding the mistakes and needed proof to correct them.
Pages with more free credit repair tips on this website:
Here is a page that will help with common mistakes usually found on a credit report and tips on what to look for.
If you do feel a need for guidance on a formal letter go to my credit report disputes page
Most important if you have much to clear up in your report is to have a plan and follow through to completion!!
If you have started a credit monitoring program, many times there is a resource area with lots of good free credit repair tips.
Many times a procedure for finding and correcting mistakes on your credit report will be outlined.
Yet another of the free credit repair tips is one found in the consumer credit file rights....if you are looking carefully.
Here it says no one can remove accurate negative information: BUT you may dispute the accuracy of information.
It also says it cannot be frivolous. (So don't go wild here)
This is for that info that you may not be able to show proof of inaccuracy but they must.
What will be expected is that the agency and the creditor who reported it will have to investigate and be able to verify the information.
If their records are not up to par, maybe they're not able. If they cannot verify then they must remove the information.
I had one late payment on my mortgage out of 10 years of on time payments.
That one was lost in the mail it was absolutely not late but out of my control and something that can be disputed.
It just may be worth the time and effort to try and get something removed that possibly cannot be proved on their part!
Another area of free credit repair tips that is in your control is your debt management.
A good look at your payments and how they are managed is very key to repairing your credit.
With the use of computers and online bill pay systems, automatic payments can be set up at your bank, creditors or utility providers websites. The timely payment of bills can have a big impact on that credit score especially if in the past they were missed.
* The newer FICO version looks heavily at payments and delinquency is treated much stronger than in the past.
* With the new CARD act if you formerly had your percentage rate increased because of late payments you now have the chance to get the rate back down with 6 consecutive months of on time payments.
That's a double dipping benefit. With 6 months of on time payments that may have been late or missed, are now made with help of online tools, not only will get your percentage rate down, but help repair your credit report and therefore your credit score will improve.
As you may have seen elsewhere on this website and no doubt will see again,
that's keeping more of your money in your pocket!