Looking for easy ways to get a fresh start on your credit?
While there is no true “easy way” when it comes to repairing your credit after a serious financial setback, there are ways that you can quickly raise your score a few points (or more).
First and foremost, you absolutely have to know your credit score! And, I’m not talking about knowing your credit score at just one of the credit bureaus either. I mean that you absolutely have to know your score at ALL three of the credit bureaus. Why? Well, even though it would seem that they should all have the same information, they don’t. Your score can vary by up to 70 points or more at any one or all three of the big credit reporting companies. So, while your credit may be fantastic at Experian, it may not be so great at TransUnion, or at Equifax, and if you were to need credit (say for a house or car loan), you don’t necessarily know which credit bureau they will use to check your credit. Or, they may use all three. In this day and age, you just don’t know. So, before you do anything else – find out your credit scores.
Once you know your credit score, the next thing to do is to really review what’s on your credit report – I know they can be confusing at times, but take the time to figure out what everything on there means. Inaccuracies on your credit report are more common than you think, and one mistake can cost you valuable points on your credit score.
Just a few months ago, a friend was refinancing her house, and a question came back about an old bill that had been paid off for several years, but was still listed as a delinquent account on her TransUnion credit report, even though it didn’t show up on either of the other two reports. Unfortunately, the company doing the refinance on her house used TransUnion to check her credit score…even worse, it almost cost her the refinance on her house… and that could have translated into a loss of the $20,000.00 she was saving by refinancing at a lower interest rate. Fortunately, my friend was able to quickly and easily file a dispute (online) against the creditor and the account was removed in less than three days. Her refinance went through without a hitch. (Her credit score quickly shot up a few points, too!)
So, don’t just know your score – unless you have perfect credit (and not many of us do), then study your credit report and fix any inaccuracy that you find on ANY of the three reports.
And yes, you probably will want to pay for the credit monitoring service offered at any of the sites you visit – but trust me, it pays for itself in the long run.
Here’s the site I’ve used for years, and they will let you look for free, but once you’ve looked, spend the money to protect your credit. It is money well spent: