What To Look For When Reviewing Your Credit Report
Credit counselors recommend reviewing your credit report at least once per calendar year to ensure this all-important picture of your financial health remains accurate. However, with so much information included, knowing where to start can prove confusing for consumers. Here are the items you should be certain to check each year:
Verify that your name, address and telephone number are correct, and that your employment information is complete and error-free. You’ll also be able to check the accuracy of your social security number, date of birth and marital status here.
This section lists all your personal credit accounts, and it’s vitally important to make sure you don’t see any that don’t belong. This can mean that someone has stolen your identity and opened an account, or that someone with the same name is mistakenly showing up on your credit report. This is called “comingling” and is a fairly common occurrence. It’s also prudent to verify that debts you have paid off correctly list your balance owed as zero.
Too many recent inquiries can hurt your credit score, so you’ll want to remove any that appear without your permission. By law, creditors cannot pull your credit report unless they have your written permission to do so in order to open a desired credit account.
If you find errors or erroneous information in your credit report, take action quickly. You’ll need to submit a correction request in writing to the credit reporting agency, including any supporting documents you may have. Consumers can get assistance with correcting errors by visiting the Federal Trade Commission consumer information page.
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