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Three Bureau Credit Report
Experian
Three Bureau Credit Report
Equifax
TransUnion Credit Bureau
TransUnion

The first thing a person should do is get a copy of their credit report. It would be best to get one from all three agencies so they can review the information that is on each one.

A person should look for all inaccuracies, whether it is the credit or personal data. They can submit a request in writing to have the inaccuracy corrected and the agency must respond within 30 days. They will verify that it is incorrect and remove it from the record.

Once the credit report has been verified to be accurate, all negative items should be noted. A person can take several steps to improve their credit score in regards to this information. The most important areas to work on are the ones that carry the most weight in the credit score. Here is a list of ways to improve a credit score within a few months to a few years.

  1. Begin making all payments on time. For any delinquent payments, a person should work to get caught up. It will take two years of timely payments to make significant changes in a credit score, but this factor has the most influence.
  2. Make arrangements to pay collections. Once a person enters into a payment plan, the account should reflect that it is current.
  3. Pay down credit balances. This will reduce debt-to-income rations.

A person should not close out a credit account or reduce the limit; this can reflect negatively on a credit score. This is especially true for long-standing accounts, which reflect favorably on the score. Opening new accounts to increase credit available is also not advisable. If a person is applying for a home or auto loan, they need to do so in a short time frame to make it easier to understand multiple inquiries into their account.

If there are bills that cannot be paid, they person needs to talk with a debt management counselor who can offer a solution and create a plan. Once their bills are current, they need to keep them that way. While different companies vary on how they review a report, most will look at history for the past two years. This time period also factors the most on a credit score.

  1. The Truth About Credit Scores
  2. Factors that Affect the Credit Score
  3. How a Credit Score is Calculated
  4. The Three Credit Agencies
  5. What is the FICO Score?
  6. Laws That Affect the Credit Score
  7. What Companies and Institutions Look For
  8. How to Improve Your Credit Score

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