A credit report is run on a buyer when he or she needs to buy something that will take a long-term loan, such as an automobile or a house. The credit report can come from one of three agencies – Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. Each of these three agencies uses their own techniques of arriving at a credit score and receiving credit information, so attention should be paid to all three.
A credit report score can go up to 800, and an increase of 50 points is a big one, enabling borrowers to get loans they previously were denied, and getting loans at much better interest rates. A 1% drop in an interest rate on a $150,000 house, for instance, may drop a payment by over $100 a month, saving the borrower over $35,000 over the life of the 30-year loan.Each of these credit agencies have taken all the financial information they can find about you and tabulated a credit score from those results. Information will include your current and previous home addresses and employers, the credit cards and loans you have, and any late payments made over the last ten years. These agencies’ credit reports will be very similar, but there will be differences, as they all make mistakes, and the banks and credit card companies giving them the information make mistakes, too.
Here’s where you can improve your credit score. Any request for a change in information in a credit report must be answered and corrected within 30 days because federal law regulates the credit bureaus. If you write in to a credit bureau complaining that one of the late payments on your credit report is wrong, they must investigate and correct the information within the 30 days, or delete the information. Because this deadline is very difficult to make, often the late payment report is simply deleted off of the credit report. This procedure is very slow and time-consuming, and you can either do it yourself or hire an agency to do it for you. Each letter should only request one change, otherwise the credit bureau will usually declare the request to be frivolous and thus they are not required to do anything. Each letter should be written to all three credit reporting agencies. These agencies, Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union, all have PO boxes specifically set up for complaints, but they change the PO Boxes often to make it difficult for customers to find. Every month you, or the agency you have hired, should send out another letter referring to a different mistake in your credit report. After many months, your credit report will show many fewer late payments, perhaps even none, and your credit score will have improved dramatically.
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