Managing your credit score and your credit report is one of the most important financial tasks that needs to be performed. Many services exist that will continually monitor your credit report and your credit score. These services will immediately e-mail you or call you to let you know that when a change of any kind (whether bad or good) has occurred to your credit score or your credit report. For the most part, these services are helpful in the monitoring process and can be obtained for a small fee (around $12 per month). This will help you avoid instances of identity theft or of any incorrect information being place in your credit report. However, these services are not essential and thus, you can do a lot of things yourself in order to manage your credit report and your credit score.
First and foremost, you should obtain a copy of your credit report in order to make sure that everything that is in your credit report is accurate. You do not want your credit report or credit score to be negatively affected or overly inflated with information that is not yours. As such, you need to inspect your current credit report. You can purchase your credit report from any of the three (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) credit reporting bureaus. However, you can obtain one free credit report per year (courtesy of the federal government) at www.annualcreditreport.com. The process is absolutely free but can only be accessed once per year.
Once you have a copy of your credit report, your next step is to go through the entire report to see if any inaccuracies exist. If everything is as it should be, your job is done for now. But, if there exists some inaccuracies, you need to dispute the information so that it will be removed from your credit report.
Disputing inaccurate information is not a difficult process, but it is time consuming and frustrating. Sometimes, the credit bureaus can be extremely stubborn in removing false or inaccurate information from your report. However, if you stick with it, you will see results. In order to dispute information, you have to submit a dispute letter to all of the credit bureaus stating the information that is inaccurate. You can submit this letter via traditional mail or you can submit a dispute through the websites of each respective credit bureau. The choice is up to you. Remember, you may have to submit more than one letter in order to obtain the results that you want. As such, you should not give up until you get what you are after.
Doing your own credit report and credit score management can be simple, but if your time constraints do not allow you to utilize as much time as you would like for such purposes, there are many companies that will do the service for you for a small fee.