Investigating Your Credit Report Information

Once you have access to your credit reports, go over everything. Confirm everything in it as accurate and anything not accurate even something you may think is of no big deal (example: credit limit for a credit card) needs to be accurate. Something like a smaller credit limit being reported than what you actually have could have a negative impact because your debt to limit ratio could look higher than it actually is.

Take notes of older negative accounts. Most negative accounts over 7 years from the date of first delinquency may be over the SOL (Statute of Limitations). This means a simple dispute with the credit bureau reporting the information could get this negative account off your credit report. We'll go over that further on...

Once you're confident everything has been checked over and you have taken notes on everything that is questionable or incorrect, the next step is disputing info and getting the negatives off your credit report.

You could try writing down or using a spreadsheet program to have everything in an orderly manner, which would remind you what negative accounts are under which credit reports. Here's an example of this using a spreadsheet format (PDF Format):

Organizing your Negative Accounts

The reason this is important, you do not want to dispute an account that isn't being reported by 1 of the credit bureaus. This could get the credit bureau who isn't reporting it to begin reporting it once they verify the negative account. Only dispute an account with a credit reporting agency who's reporting the negative info.

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