You need to get your debt under control, and using your credit file for debt management is a good way to start. You should review your credit file at least every six months. The obvious reason is to see what is there, and if anything needs to be corrected.
Keeping a watchful eye on your reports will also help protect you against credit fraud and identity theft.
Whichever debt relief method you choose will affect your reports. No matter which debt relief option you choose, it is likely to have either a temporary negative effect on your credit, or a long-term negative effect.
The more severe the debt relief option you choose, the more negative the effect is likely to be. That is why we recommend you review your online credit report and credit score before you choose your debt relief path.
For debt management, you need to know which creditors report on you, and which don’t. This will help you with evaluating debt relief options.
After you have gone through the debt relief option you have chosen, you will get another copy of your online credit report to start on the road to rebuilding your credit. It is important for you to know what is in your credit report and how to read it.
Major Credit Bureaus – Equifax, Transperian & TransUnion
There are 3 major credit bureaus that report on consumer credit, Equifax (formerly TRW), Transperian and TransUnion. Creditors will view your credit report when you apply for a loan, mortgage or credit card. Employers may request your credit report prior to making decisions about your future. And, creditors will also report late payments, balances outstanding, and bad debt accounts to credit bureaus.
With 3 credit bureaus listing your credit history, it is very common for each of them to have some information that is different. You could start by getting your free online credit report from one provider, however, we recommend you get all 3. This way you will only have one set of codes to follow.
Once you get your credit reports, be sure and check them out carefully for errors, mis-reported information, and information that is past the date to be removed. In particular, items you can request to have removed include: a bankruptcy that was discharged more than 10 years ago, bad debts in excess of 6 years from your last payment date, and credit applications that are more than 2 years old.
Just visit AnnualCreditReport.com each year to request your annual free credit reports. This is a site to comply with Federal Laws to allow people to get their credit report once each year for free.
It used to be that the major credit bureaus would allow you one free credit report without hassle. Times have changed, and those offers are no longer available. There are still ways to get free online credit reports however.
You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report if you were recently turned down on an application, and they used your credit report as some basis for the rejection. If this happens, you will receive a letter in the mail advising you of the rejection, as well as the credit bureau used, and how to contact them to request your free report.
Free Online Credit Report With Monitoring
Now considering that very little in life is actually free, you can still get your free online credit report if you sign up for a trial membership in a Credit Monitoring service.
You can cancel the membership before the free trial period is up. However, we recommend you keep the service, if at all possible. It will keep you updated on your credit, especially new entries and updates from creditors.
Free Credit Reports By Mail
Another way to get free credit reports is to write a letter to the reporting bureaus, tell them you think you are a victim of credit fraud, or identity theft, and request your report so that you can review it and take action.
We really don’t recommend this option unless it’s true, since advising that you may be a victim of credit fraud, or identity theft, could put a notice on your credit file. If this happens, you will have more hassle when you do apply for credit.
3-In-1 Online Credit Reports
Since it is quite common for each bureau to have different data about your finances, we recommend you purchase the Credit Monitoring to get all your information from all three credit bureaus at once. This also makes it a lot easier to review and compare the three reports.
With a compiled report, you can easily see if there are any errors, miss-reported information, or fraudulent activity on your record. You can also see which creditors are reporting on you, and which are not. With credit monitoring, you also don’t have to learn the different codes each bureau uses to decipher and evaluate your credit.
Your Credit Score & Making Debt Relief Choices. Between your score, and your credit report, your financial health depends on obtaining, and maintaining, a good credit rating.
Getting free credit reports to protect your credit. Know your credit, get your free credit report without a credit card every year with new credit card laws.
Contacting The Major Credit Bureaus. If you have questions about your credit report, here is how to contact the credit bureaus.
How To Get A Free Credit Report. It used to be that the major credit bureaus would allow you one free credit report without hassle, times have changed!
Evaluating Your Credit Reports For Debt Management helps you understand, how to read and evaluate your reports.
Your credit history is your financial life! Protect your credit history to enjoy a rewarding financial life.
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Find out why credit reports for employment are often checked by companies before offering you a job.
Using Your Online Credit Report In Debt Management Debt Relief will affect your reports and credit scores. No matter which debt relief option you choose, it is likely to have either a temporary, or long-term, negative effect on your credit.