There are just some things in life everyone should make a point to develop at least a basic understanding of, and your personal credit score is one of those things. Like it or not, these numbers can have a big impact on countless aspects of your daily life.
Essentially, the higher the number referenced in your credit reports, the better your overall credit health is considered to be a fact that can directly impact your wallet and even employment opportunities.
Your rating or score represents your credit history and other information collected and maintained by what are called major credit reporting agencies. The information they provide companies is meant to be an accurate reflection of an individual's creditworthiness, insurability, and even employability.
The good news: there are steps a person can take to improve a poor or bad credit rating.
The reality: it takes time and a focused effort to turn around a poor credit standing, according to the experts.
But deciding to take steps to improve your future is exactly what you do when working to improve a less than appealing credit rating.
Such an effort is nothing short of literally making an investment in yourself that, if successful, will be virtually guaranteed to yield a beneficial reward of one kind or another.
One of the guarantees in life is everyone makes mistakes. However, if you see a mistake has been made on your personal credit information, it is not the sort of thing you can afford to ignore.
The three major credit reporting agencies recognized on a national basis are Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian.
Purchasing your own credit report twice a year is money well spent, according to federal financial and security authorities including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as identity theft plays a large part in the continuing increase of fraudulent and wrong information that is found in some personal credit histories.
There is no reason to allow wrong information to sit in your personal credit history unaddressed simply because you think it is likely it will filter out of the information held for review if given enough time. There is no telling how much damage wrong information in your personal credit history could do over the seven or so years it may be held within your collected information that is used to craft these histories and the ratings, say experts with About.com.
Experts in the financial community suggest there are a number of solid reasons why it is more often than not a better idea to stay away from what might look like extreme or quick fix tactics to repair damaged credit records.
After getting a first-hand look at your personal credit report, if you think some of the information is inaccurate, experts suggest tackling one or two items at a time is much more likely to yield a better outcome than simply trying to say the entire thing is wrong. If your complaint is seen as frivolous by a reviewing authority, it may be thrown out altogether.
If you are planning to dispute a piece of information in your credit report, make sure to first obtain a free copy of your information from each of the three major credit bureaus by requesting- once a year - a free copy of your history and rating from each of the major credit bureaus once per year.
Through the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA) consumers have the right to request one copy from each of the three entities free of charge.
To request these reports be shared with you, individuals can choose one of several ways to gain access to the general report, though credit scores will not specifically be available without paying a small fee. To access your credit report and have it sent to you, choose a point of access: www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228.
This website will provide direct no fee required access through which a consumer can expect to order one report that will include results from all three major bureaus.
Information needed by you to order the report will include your name, address, social security number, and date of birth. You may also have to provide proof of your previous address if you have moved in the past two years. You should also be prepared to have each of the three bureaus ask you for the type of information only you would know. This is to help protect your personal information.
Ultimately if you decide to purchase a copy of your report from each of the bureaus, expect them to differ slightly from each other in the sources of individual information they review and gather and how they go about the entire process.
To contact those companies individually to order a report:
Equifax: 1-800-685-1111 equifax.com
Experian: 1-888-397-3742 experian.com
TransUnion: 1-800-916-8800 transunion.com
Loccisano may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.