The free annual credit report. You might be surprised to learn that a large percentage of people never even take advantage of this opportunity. Besides being silently unaware of fraud or inaccuracies, not checking your credit report could be holding you back from financial freedom.
Keep An Eye Out
Many people think their credit report is simply a way to monitor their score and look for fraud. While these are both benefits, it is the details of your credit report that are important. The truth is, you may be able to boost your score by looking for a few crucial details in your report.
First, check to make sure all of your accounts are labeled correctly. If you have closed accounts in the past, be sure the status reflects the closed standing and does not refer to the account is open or active. Also, take note of whether the closed accounts are marked as “paid in full” or “satisfied”, and not “settled” or “negotiated”. Even if you have completed a credit negotiation, it is important that you arrange to have your creditor report your account as “satisfied” to avoid a drop in credit score.
Next, check the balances of your open and active account. It is important that your reflected balance be accurate, otherwise you could be being penalized for a balance that has since been paid down or to a zero balance. Also, look at the payment history. Late or missed payments are a quick way to drop your score, so be sure to be more timely in the future.
Last, monitor your inquiries. You may find that people have been inquiring about your credit standing without your consent. If this happens, file a dispute with the credit reporting bureau. Also, contact the company who made the inquiry to request that they do not make any further inquiries without your permission.